Joint venture partners GBM Resources and Round Oak Minerals have celebrated their first gold dore bar at the White Dam gold-copper operation in South Australia.
The bar was poured with associated copper concentrate production from a sulphidisation-acidification-recycling-thickening (SART) plant, which had continued to ramp up.
The JV has also identified further optimisation opportunities, which is expected to drive greater production and reduce costs at the White Dam project.
GBM managing director and chief executive Peter Rohner said that the Round Oak site team had worked hard to optimise the SART plant operation.
“While recent rain has resulted in some minor delays, the additional water is set to drive increased heap leach irrigation and thus higher gold and copper production in the near term,” he said.
“We are now working to finalise shipping of the first copper concentrates once the concentrate drying process is completed.”
The JV has also started evaluating White Dam’s remaining resources of 4.6 million tonnes averaging 0.7 grams per tonne of gold for 101,900 ounces of gold.
This is aimed to determine the viability of extracting and leaching the material.
The SART plant was designed to extract and remove copper from the gold leach solution to improve gold recoveries, which Rohner said enhanced the economics of the White Dam operation.
White Dam commenced operations in 2009 and has since produced over 170,000 ounces of gold from 7.3 million tonnes of ore that were mined from its two open pits.
The operation is 75 kilometres from Broken Hill.