Millennium Minerals has awarded an underground mining contract at its Nullagine gold project in Western Australia to GBF Underground Mining.
The contact will focus on mining services for the Bartons mine development, which is Millennium’s first underground mine at Nullagine.
Millennium plans to launch the Bartons underground mine next month. The development will access high-grade, free-milling mineralisation beneath the existing Bartons open pit, where the company has been undertaking an extensive pit cut back.
The three-year mining services contract involves WA-based GBF delivering an underground portal for Bartons, decline and level development, ore driving, stope production, and two 100m exploration drill drives.
Millennium recently delivered a 22 per cent increase in the Bartons underground mineral resource to 627,000 tonnes (t) at 4.9 grams a tonne (g/t) gold for 97,900 ounces (oz) of contained gold. Bartons also has an interim ore reserve of 270,000t at 4.5g/t gold for 39,000oz contained gold.
Peter Cash, Millennium chief executive officer, said the company was rapidly progressing towards the development of its first underground mine at Nullagine.
“Exploiting the potential of the deeper primary mineralisation identified beneath the many oxide deposits across the Nullagine goldfield is a key component of our strategy to increase production of mine life — and this marks an important step in that process,” Cash said.
“The experience which we gain from this first milestone development will be invaluable to our broader underground development strategy, providing invaluable geotechnical, geological and structural information that will be applicable to the other underground studies currently in progress.”
Millennium expects that GBF will mobilise at Nullagine this month, with underground mining set to start at Bartons in March.