Focus plots rise of mothballed WA gold mines

Focus Minerals has flagged the potential awakening of two open pit gold mines at the Coolgardie project in Western Australia.

According to the Coolgardie pre-feasibility study (PFS), the mines could deliver an average of 63,000 ounces a year for a six-year mine life.

This stands on probable ore reserves of 6.64 million tonnes at 1.97 grams per tonne gold.

“The 2020 Coolgardie PFS refresh indicates opportunity to develop a robust production schedule with further upside,” Focus chief executive Zhaoya Wang said.

“Our technical team is continuing to develop additional potentially mineable resources that can improve the economic case for a resumption of mining in Coolgardie.”

The Coolgardie PFS assesses three resources, including the Greenfields open pit, Brilliant open pit and Bonnie Vale underground.

The PFS also includes the 1.4 million tonnes a year processing plant at Three Mile Hill that is on care and maintenance.

The processing plant went through a $22 million refit before being recommissioned in 2009, and will undertake another refurbishment worth $24 million in reviving the Coolgardie project.

Focus suspended production at Coolgardie in 2013 due to lower gold prices.

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