Gruyere operations slowed as plant issues continue


Image: Gold Road Resources

Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources are investigating a disruption to operations at their Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia as processing plant issues continue to plague the site.

The mine is a joint venture between the two companies, which began in November 2016.

According to a statement from Gold Road, the plant is currently operating at a reduced rate.

“Owing to a failure of a trunnion bearing, the ball mill was shut down on September 28 2021 and the processing plant is currently operating at a reduced throughput rate and processing recovery utilising the SAG mill only,” the company stated.

“Repairs to the trunnion bearing and an investigation into root cause are underway.

“It is currently anticipated that the ball mill will remain out of service for three to seven days.

In the June quarter, Gruyere’s processing plant faced a torn mill feed conveyor belt, causing temporary repairs and lower processing rates.

This caused the milling circuit to be shut down while personnel and materials for the belt replacement were sourced.

After replacing the conveyor belt, Gruyere’s ball mill failed forcing processing to continue at a lower rate leaving only the semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) in operation.

Gold Road stated that ball mill repairs were completed on June 25 with the processing plant returning to its normal operations the following weekend.

Production at the site was also interrupted in September last year by a ball mill motor bearing failure upon the restart of the Gruyere processing facility following a scheduled maintenance shutdown.

Production was impacted for seven days to include this shutdown, until processing operations resumed.

A specialist team was mobilised to site to determine the root cause of the failure and take rectification measures.

According to a company statement, September 2021 quarterly production is estimated at approximately 59,000 ounces at a 100 per cent basis.

An update including the production outlook for the December 2021 quarter will be provided once normal production resumes.

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