Gruyere troubles put bump in Gold Road

Gruyere gold mine

The Gruyere site. Image: Gold Road Resources.

Gold Road Resources has reported lower gold production for the June quarter following processing plant issues at the Gruyere joint venture (JV) operation in Western Australia last month.

Gruyere produced 53,132 ounces of gold on a 100 per cent basis during the June quarter, compared to 66,213 ounces in the March quarter.

The mine is a JV between Gold Road and Gold Fields, which began in November 2016.

This was met with an increased all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1659 per ounce which was slightly better than expected after the processing plant shutdown at Gruyere in June.

However, this was still much higher than the March quarter’s AISC of $1386 per ounce.

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 over the weekend.

“The root cause of the coupling failure is under engineering investigation, with the objective of preventing potential future failures,” Gold Road stated in June.

An updated ore reserve for Gruyere is on track for the second half of 2021, as Gold Road celebrates its first two years of gold production at the site.

Since starting operations in 2019, Gruyere has produced 476,648 ounces of gold at an average AISC of $1307 per attributable ounce to Gold Road.

The company sold 28,425 ounces in the June quarter at an average price of $2145 per ounce, which included 10,300 ounces at $1823 per ounce into forward sales contracts.

Two million tonnes of ore was processed at Gruyere during the June quarter at a head grade of 0.92 grams per tonne of gold and a gold recovery of 89.8 per cent for 53,132 ounces of gold produced.

“Despite the impact to 2021 guidance, Gold Road remains confident in lifting throughput and grades to deliver increasing production in 2022 and 2023 per the three-year guidance issued in February 2021,” Gold Road stated.

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