Evolution seeks approval for Cowal underground project

The Cowal gold mine. Image: Evolution Mining.

Evolution Mining has advanced its development of the Cowal underground gold mine in New South Wales as it seeks approval from the New South Wales Government.

The Cowal underground gold mine has been proposed  in addition to the existing Cowal open cut mine, which has a mining approval running until 2032.

In its preliminary September quarter results announcement, the company described its Cowal underground development submission as a “major milestone”.

On September 30 2020, Evolution submitted a significant state development application and the modification 16 development application for Cowal to the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

“The submission for approval of the Cowal underground mine is another important step towards achieving our objective of producing 350,000 ounces per annum of low-cost gold from this cornerstone operation,” Evolution executive chairman Jake Klein said.

According to Klein, the company has exceeded production expectations in the September quarter, producing 170,021 ounces of gold in the September 2020 quarter with an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1198 per ounce.

“It’s great to start the new financial year with continued positive momentum. Our operations are performing well and it is pleasing to be ahead of where we had planned to be at the end of the first quarter. Most importantly, the business continues to generate sector leading cash flow per ounce and our balance sheet remains strong with net debt reducing even after rewarding shareholders with their 15th consecutive dividend of $153.8 million,” Klein said.

Evolution stated that an environmental impact study — which forms part of the significant state development — will be on public display in mid-October, with its feasibility study for the mine remaining on course.

If the necessary approvals are provided, construction of the underground development could commence as early as 2021 with operations to start in 2023.

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