Avoca Resources is set to develop a second underground gold mine at its Higginsville Gold Project in Western Australia after strong reserve estimate results.
The company said that an in-house feasibility study on the underground resource at the Chalice deposit delivered a reserve estimate of 720,000 tonnes, containing 118,000 ounces of gold.
According to Avoca’s managing director Rohan Williams, developing the Chalice deposit was in important step toward the company’s goal of a 10-plus year life for Higginsville.
“The maiden reserve at Chalice is a significant milestone, with a high resource to reserve conversion rate, low operating costs, and significant potential for further resource expansions,” he said.
Avoca said it estimates underground development will commence in the middle of the year following the dewatering of the Chalice open pit.
Ore development is scheduled to commence in the middle of 2011.
Capital costs for the Chalice deposit are estimated to be around $42 million, although Avoca said it is looking into potential savings of $3 million using its pit-dewatering options.