Gold Road Resources has experienced a favourable first quarter to open 2021 as the Gruyere gold mine joint venture (JV) showed steady signs of growth in Western Australia.
The company and its JV partner Gold Fields produced 66,213 ounces of gold at Gruyere, while ore mined was 1.9 million tonnes, with an average grade of 1.07 grams per tonne, during the quarter.
The production figure was down 6.5 per cent on the previous quarter, which Gold Road has put down to an increase of gold in circuit.
Gold Road reported an easy transition of mining contractors after MACA’s acquisition of Downer was finalised in February this year. MACA has committed to providing a new excavator along with other equipment required for mining productivity at Gruyere.
The JV processed 2.1 million tonnes of ore during the 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.
Gold Road stated its sights were on developing an open pit ore reserve to capitalise on the 1.2 million ounces of indicated resource below the current Gruyere ore reserve.
The company has undertaken geotechnical studies which have shown the potential to steepen the open pit’s slopes by up to 4 degrees, thereby supporting the expansion of the reserve.
The current pit at Gruyere sits at 385 metres below surface. However, it is believed the Gruyere mineralisation extends to 1.1 kilometres below surface – an exciting prospect for the mid-tier producer.