Wednesday 20th Feb, 2019

Historic Victorian gold mines to restart production

Production is set to restart at the historic Victorian Morning Star and Rose of Denmark gold mines.

Mining company AuStar Gold has moved through a number of exploration, development, mining and processing initiatives at the sites in 2018, and expects production at the mines to start modestly but plans to continue an exploration aimed at increasing output from the sites.

AuStar will mine both operations, with ore to be processed at the Morning Star gravity processing plant.

Gold from the Morning Star mine is traditionally free milling, allowing for production of a high-grade concentrate through gravity separation. This concentrate will be trucked to a nearby leach plant for toll treating. The company has an onsite recovery and smelting system in order to recover coarse free gold and pour doré.

Since announcing in December that it planned to start mining in the March 2019 quarter, the company has established enough confidence in its minerals inventory estimation and mine planning to make the move to production.

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AuStar Gold Chief executive officer Tom de Vries said further exploration success would enable increased production over time after modest initial throughput rates.

“We have repeatedly witnessed diamond drill core with visible gold and accompanying outstanding high-grade assay results, which gives us confidence that mining could be undertaken successfully,” de Vries said.

“Our process plant is proven, the infrastructure is all well tested, and our exploration work gives us confidence that we have high-grade material for mining.”

AuStar has conducted extensive work internally to assess potential production rates and costs, de Vries added.

“The board and management are confident the decision to commence production will generate positive results,” he said.

The bulk of the material for plant feed will initially come from the McNally’s Reef discovery and from the Rose of Denmark mine, while development is completed to access Stone’s Reef.

Mining at Rose of Denmark will access material recently identified using percussion drilling and diamond drilling.

AuStar acquired the Morning Star operations in 2015.