Gruyere JV deals with disruption

Gruyere gold mine

The Gruyere site. Image: Gold Road Resources.

Gold Road Resources has forecast under-par gold production at the Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia during the June quarter due to process plant disruptions.

June’s production guidance was never previously released for the joint venture (JV) with Gold Fields, but Gold Road stated plant disruptions and maintenance would equate to “lower than expected gold production” of 52,000-55,000 ounces of gold.

“The disruptions to Gruyere’s processing plant operations included a torn mill feed conveyor belt, which resulted in temporary repairs and reduced processing rates while specialist personnel and materials for the belt replacement were obtained,” Gold Road stated.

Once the conveyor belt was fixed and the milling circuit came back online, a couple on the ball mill then failed.

This second disruption reduced processing capacity, as only the SAG mill was operational.

Ball mill repairs were complete on June 25, with an investigation ongoing into the cause of the coupling failure.

Gold Road expected gold production for the 2021 calendar year to be between 260,000-300,000 ounces of gold, albeit toward the lower end.

The turbulent June quarter followed a favourable first quarter of 2021, when Gruyere produced 66,213 ounces of gold.

The JV processed 2.1 million tonnes of ore during the March quarter, in line with the plant’s capacity for more than eight million tonnes per year.

The JV plans to improve its process plant use from 83 per cent in the March quarter up to an industry benchmark of 93-96 per cent. This should occur as a result of upgrades to the operation’s pebble crushing circuit.

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