A $46 million plan to increase production and extend the life of the Tropicana gold mine in Western Australia has been announced by joint venture partners AngloGold Ashanti and Independence Group – also known as the Tropicana Joint Venture.
The entire Tropicana project will include the Long Island Mining Strategy – which involves a strip-mining approach to minimise waste haulage distance by using in-pit backfill – as well as a 6MW ball mill that is going to be installed at the Tropicana processing plant.
Phase one of the Long Island Mining Strategy at Tropicana – located 200 kilometres east of Sunrise Dam and 330 kilometres east-northeast of Kalgoorlie – has been approved by the joint venture. This strategy is expected to add 2.1 million ounces (Moz) to the Tropicana business plan, which extends the mine’s life until 2027 as well as increase production by up to 530,000 ounces by 2019.
The ball mill, on the other hand, will enable throughput to match the increased mining rate and will improve gold recovery by approximately three to 92 per cent.
“This project is in line with our approach of developing cost-effective brownfield projects with attractive payback periods that extend life and improve margins.
“The project validates the innovative ideas developed by our site team and technical specialists, and also gives us an excellent base from which we can investigate adding additional value through underground mining opportunities and regional exploration,” AngloGold’s Australian Senior Vice President Michael Erickson said.
According to Independence Group Managing Director Peter Bradford, the accelerated mining strategy that was launched during the 2017 calendar year is expected to increase gold production rates over the next two years.
“The Long Island Mining Strategy, which is now approved as part of the joint venture 2018 business plan, has delivered an ore reserve of 4.08Moz and extend the life-of-mine through to the 2027 calendar year,” Mr Bradford said.
The joint venture is expecting to reach between 478,000oz to 492,000oz of gold production in 2018, and rising to between 530,000oz to 548,000oz in 2019.
The Long Island Mining Strategy is estimated to cost approximately $18 million, with the installation of the ball mill to cost about $28 million. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2018.
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Source: Australian Mining