PRODUCTION of gold bullion and gold-copper-silver concentrate started recently at Doray Minerals’ Deflector project in Western Australia, around 14 months after Doray acquired the project. Open pit mining is on schedule while underground development continues.

The company is focusing on maximising the gold recovery from the gravity circuit in preference to the flotation circuit while optimising copper recoveries from the oxide ore before moving to the transition ore.

Mining of the West and Central Lode open pit continues and in early September the open pit was approaching 70% complete with an increasing build-up of ore hauled to the ROM pad. Significant stockpiles of oxide and transitional ores estimated to contain more than 10,000 ounces of gold had been accumulated on the ROM.

Grade control drilling is in progress to establish the potential for additional oxide ore at the southern end of the pit. Depending on the size of the extension, this material could be mined and processed in the short term or stockpiled.

Underground development is on schedule with the decline and lateral access advanced 428 metres by the end of August. The decline had advanced to the 1197mRL, approximately 83 metres vertically below surface.

Development in underground primary sulphide ore, which represents 83% of total inventory, was expected to commence by the end of September. This material is to be stockpiled for treatment following processing of oxide and transition ore.

Ramp-up of the purpose-built processing plant continues with treatment of oxide and some transitional material from the open pit. The gradual change from oxide to transitional ores has resulted in a reduction in the proportion of clay material in the crushing and mill feed.

Doray’s managing director Allan Kelly said production of concentrate was ramping up with gold and copper grades achieving required specifications while other initiatives had resulted in increased gold recoveries. The company is forecasting production in the range of 40,000-50,000 ounces plus 3000-4000 tonnes of copper for the 2017 financial year.

Meantime, Doray has announced a maiden resource for Turnberry prospect at the Gnaweeda project. The inferred resource for Turnberry, which is about 15km southeast of the company’s Andy Well project, is 4.6 million tonnes @ 1.8 grams/tonne gold for 266,000 ounces.

Gnaweeda has potential to provide an additional ore source within trucking distance of the Andy Well processing plant.

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