St Barbara looks to fill the mill to uplift Leonora

St Barbara

The Leonora operations. Image: St Barbara

St Barbara has outlined a strategy focused on exploration and increased throughput to extend the mine life of its Leonora gold operations in Western Australia.

The plan was revealed in St Barbara’s presentation for the Denver Gold Forum which detailed three stages, or uplifts, to develop the Leonora operations.

The first uplift involved a reduction in operating costs while increasing throughput and recovery, achieved through the company’s Building Brilliance campaign.

Launched in October 2020, Building Brilliance seeks to provide transparency and cohesion across the company to improve productivity, safety and costs.

The first uplift indicated a partnership with the Linden Gold Alliance to recover twice as much gold in the 2023 financial year compared to projected volumes for 2022.

The presentation indicated that discussions were continuing with other third parties to improve these recovery rates.

Uplift two was to execute brownfield expansion projects, which has continued at Leonora through several exploration activities.

St Barbara will be reporting the results of its Jasper region drilling campaign in the September quarterly report, while Tower Hill, Harbour Lights and mill expansion studies are all underway.

These latter studies are expected to come to fruition with first ore by the middle of the 2024 financial year, while the former should bring first ore by July 2023.

The presentation also made mention of the Gwalia (Leonora’s main gold mine) tailings storage facility (TSF), which has been inspected by international experts to improve its capacity.

“In 2020 studies and testing were completed to improve the resilience of the active Gwalia TSF (TSF 3) to ANCOLD guidelines,” the presentation stated.

“An international expert also conducted an independent review of TSF 3. An additional eight piezometers have been installed and works to augment the TSF are currently underway.

“During the year TSF 4 was constructed and commissioned. TSF 3 and 4 will work in rotation to ensure maximum drying and settling time.”

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