Red 5 to bring mothballed mine back into production

North pit at King of the Hills, September 2020. Image: Red 5

Red 5 is set to rouse a Western Australian gold mine following the completion of its King of the Hills final feasibility study (FFS).

It is now set up to be a four million tonnes a year bulk mining and processing operation in the Eastern Goldfields region.

Red 5 expects a production of 2.5 million ounces at an all-in sustaining cost of $1339 an ounce for an initial 16-year mine life at King of the Hills.

First production is scheduled for the June quarter of 2022 ahead of its peak production of 203,000 ounces in the 2024 financial year.

“The completion of this high-quality final feasibility study, delivering a 2.4 million ounce ore reserve …. firmly places (the King of the Hills) as one of the largest endowed gold mines in Australia,” Red 5 managing director Mark Williams said.

“The FFS has confirmed the technical and financial viability of a major new (four million tonnes a year) mining and processing operation at King of the Hills, with optionality to expand to (six million tonnes a year) in the future.

“The FFS details the construction of a stand-alone CIL (carbon-in-leach) processing facility on-site that will be fed initially by a combination of ore from both open pit and underground mining operations.”

Red 5 plans to appoint an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in the December quarter of this year.

The company will also move ahead with site works, finalise permitting and complete the project financing process.

“We are targeting to be n apposition to make a final investment decision over the coming months before moving to full on-site construction by early 2021,” Williams said.

“… With orders placed recently for a (six million tonnes a year) gyratory crusher and a (four million tonnes a year) SAG mill, and a contract awarded for construction of the village accommodation and central facilities, Red 5 is off to a strong start.”

Open pit mining was carried out at King of the Hills from 1989 to 2004, when a significant failure on the eastern wall of the north pit put surface mining operations to a halt.

Red 5 will focus on mining the western walls of the pits.

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