The Gruyere joint venture (JV) has completed 97 per cent of its process plant construction at the Western Australian site, putting it on target for first gold production in the June 2019 quarter.
Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields have progressed finishing works across the site and the progressive handover to commissioning.
Gruyere’s primary crushing system was ore commissioned in January this year, delivering material to the coarse ore stockpile and is in the process of being handed over to the operations team.
Downer was appointed the operation’s mining services contractor in December 2017 with a five-year, $400 million agreement.
The Gruyere power station and substations across the site, as well as water systems around the process plant, are fully commissioned.
“Mining activities scaled up to double shift operations in January, as scheduled, with total mining movement tracking ahead of plan,” the JV partners said in a joint statement.
“From the start of construction to the end of the March 2019 quarter, Gruyere has mined 4.9 million bank cubic metres of material from the open pit as budgeted in the Gruyere feasibility study.
“To date, approximately 800,000 tonnes of ore have been mined and stockpiled in preparation for the process plant start-up.”
According to the JV, the substantial ore stockpile largely de-risks mining related aspects of the operation during the commissioning and ramp up phases.
Forecast production of 100,000 to 120,000 ounces for the 2019 calendar year remains in line with previous Gold Road guidance.
The plant is also anticipated to ramp up to nameplate capacity (300,000 ounces) over a period of six to seven months.