Red 5 has commenced open pit mining at its King of the Hills (KOTH) gold project in Western Australia, with first gold production fast approaching.
Macmahon Contractors signed with Red 5 in June 2021 on a five-year deal and will transition into underground mining in early April.
The KOTH gold project is a 2.4 million ounce resource with a 16-year mine life and construction is now more than 83 per cent complete, according to Red 5.
Managing director Mark Williams said everything was moving according to plan at KOTH.
“We will now commence stockpiling ahead of the planned commissioning of the new, state-of-the-art KOTH processing plant, with all workstreams remaining on track to achieve first gold production in the June quarter,” Williams said.
He also recognised the difficulties faced by the wider industry and Red 5’s ability to manage these.
“The fact we have been able to advance construction of the project on schedule and within budget – despite widespread labour and supply chain shortages – represents an outstanding achievement by our construction management team and MACA Interquip.
“With the commencement of mining on schedule, I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our mining team and mining contractor Macmahon for their hard work and exceptional planning to date.”
The first phase of open pit mining will be undertaken using a 360-tonne Hitachi EX7150 excavator and four 789 Caterpillar haul trucks.
Soon, two more excavators and 12 more haul trucks will be added to the project.
In July 2021, Red 5 announced the mine may even be extending KOTH’s 16-year mine life with a 19 per cent increase to its underground resource.
The company reported a 130,000-ounce increase to the resource after completing 33,088 metres of underground drilling in 2020, bringing the total mine life to a possible 20.5 years.