Millennium hit its record daily production of 540 ounces (oz) of gold on August 30, on the back of a sustained production rate of 400oz a day for the past two weeks at its Nullagine operation.
This has driven Millennium to hit its long-held production target of 100,000oz per year (oz/y), a target that was originally set for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Millennium is now not only on track to achieve its forecast production guidance of 20,000–22,000oz for the September quarter, but has also lifted it to 25,000oz for the December quarter.
Millennium chief executive Peter Cash said, “We are absolutely delighted by the quality of the ore being delivered from across the Nullagine project, with all our mining centres performing very strongly in terms of both tonnes and grade.
“We have put in a huge amount of ground-work over the first half of this year to establish these high-grade ore sources, and to have achieved our annualised production target ahead of schedule is a great credit to them.”
The new Bartons underground mine and higher grade open pit ore were also brought online, resulting in a boost to Nullagine’s average head grade. The Bartons underground development in August increased to over 400 metres with one Jumbo drill.
In the open pits, more efficient mining strategies were also being employed, delivering a strong boost to productivity without additional equipment.
A few process control enhancements and changes to mill liner design have lifted Nullagine’s mill throughput from a monthly average of 154 karat (Kt) over the first six months to 175Kt over the last two months.
Ore feed at Nullagine is currently being blended with low-grade ore from the pre-strip of the Golden Eagle deposit, which is almost completed.
Cash said Millennium is now aggressively pursuing an increase in mine life beyond five years.
“Our recent exploration success has increased mine life to more than three years, with plenty of high-quality exploration targets yet to be tested,” he said.