Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields have announced a 2020 production guidance for the Gruyere mine in Western Australia as it moves towards nameplate production this year.
The joint venture (JV) partners aim to produce 250,000–285,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1100–$1200 per attributable ounce.
2020 production and cost guidance affirms Gruyere’s position as a Tier 1 operation with significant cash generation, according to Gold Road managing director Duncan Gibbs.
Gold Road expects production at Gruyere will be variable in individual quarters due to the completion of the ramp up and timing of capital projects.
This includes an $8 million tailings dam lift, with construction commencing in the March quarter and concluding in late 2020.
The JV partners have started mining fresh rock ore at Gruyere, with the proportion of fresh ore mined forecast to steadily increase to predominantly fresh rock ore late in the June quarter.
A second mining fleet is also scheduled to commence in mid-2020, allowing for continued mining of ore from the stage one pit while continuing to cut back on the stage two open pit.
“The ramp up to full production will continue with a number of scheduled plant shutdowns in the March 2020 quarter allowing the operations team to improve plant availability, operating efficiencies and conduct wear and maintenance programs,” Gold Road stated.
The JV partners have also increased Gruyere’s exploration budget by $3 million to $26 million to support an increase in aircore and diamond drilling.
Drilling campaign at Gruyere last year resulted in a 1.23 million ounce (or 29 per cent) increase in measured and indicated resources to 6.1 million ounces.
“The purpose of our 2019 drilling program beneath the Gruyere pit shell was to convert inferred resources into indicated resources,” Gibbs said.
“The increase in measured and indicated resources by 1.2 million ounces is meaningful and very encouraging. The Gruyere JV focus will now move to reviewing reserves with the goal of growing mine life while maintaining a low AISC.
“Our exploration team is well supported as we look to make meaningful discoveries in a surprisingly underexplored part of Western Australia.”
Gold Road expects to deliver the next ore reserve update early next year.