AngloGold Ashanti has moved closer to commencing operations at the Tropicana gold project in Western Australia after receiving positive results from its pre-feasibility study, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Located 330 km north-east of Kalgoorlie, Tropicana is widely considered to be one of Australia’s most significant gold discoveries of the last decade.
AngloGold and joint venture partner Independence Group have approved the commencement of a feasibility study after the pre-feasibility study showed the mine would cost approximately $520 million and could produce an average of between 330,000 and 410,000 ounces of gold a year.
According to AngloGold Ashanti Australia vice president Mike Erickson, the feasibility study is expected to be completed in mid 2010.
If all regulatory approvals are received development would then take about two years and commissioning would begin in the first quarter of 2013, Erickson said.
The initial life of the mine is expected to be 10 years, but there is potential increase to resources and mine life through further drilling at the Havana South prospect, AngloGold said.
“Tropicana is an important growth project for AngloGold Ashanti, and if development goes ahead it will make a significant economic contribution to the eastern Goldfields and Western Australia,” Erickson said.