Sandfire Resources has strengthened the mine plan of the DeGrussa copper-gold project in Western Australia, carrying its mine life to mid-2022.
The company has updated the ore reserve and mineral resource for DeGrussa, including the Conductor 1, Conductor 4 and Conductor 5 deposits, as well as the Monty mine.
DeGrussa has received a net increase in underground ore reserves of 0.4 million tonnes and 2000 tonnes of contained copper, after accounting for yearly mining depletion of around 1.6 million tonnes.
“This is a positive outcome which reflects our continued success in replacing ore reserves and identifying extensions of some of the key volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) lenses at DeGrussa,” Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said.
“With the successful recent introduction of high-grade ore from the Monty mine, we are expecting a strong finish to the 2019 financial year, with copper production tracking to hit or exceed the upper end of our guidance range at 68,000 tonnes of contained copper.”
The DeGrussa processing plant has a capacity of 1.6 million tonnes a year. The mining operations strategy adopted for the DeGrussa and Monty operations requires DeGrussa to supplement production from Monty.
Monty mining rates will continue to ramp up into next year, increasing the head grade and further boosting copper production and cash flow, according to Simich.
Sandfire’s exploration effort also continues “unabated”, with extensive programs of air-core, reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling under way across the Greater Doolgunna district.
The operation initially had a mine life of seven years, which would have seen the end of the site in mid-2019.