Commercial production has been declared at Red 5’s King of the Hills gold operation in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia as its mining and processing has reached a steady state.
“We are now hitting the main ore body within the open pit and are seeing a very positive reconciliation of ore tonnes and grade against the mine plan,” Managing Director Mark Williams said. “The KOTH processing plant is also performing strongly, achieving an annualised throughput rate equivalent to 5 Mt/y throughout most of November, and with several key enhancements now complete.”
Crews have also completed a planned shutdown of the KOTH process plant, though that has now been completed after taking the mill and crusher offline for 125 hours. The crusher had a full reline and several improvements have been made throughout the circuit to improve reliability and address high-wear areas. The crusher and mill restarted on 5 December.
Williams noted that, during November, overall plant utilisation up to 28 November (prior to the shutdown) averaged above 95%, with average mill throughput of 611 tonnes per operating hour/13,916 tonnes per day. The KOTH open pit and underground mines are well-resourced and continue to see an improved ramp-up performance.
KOTH has suffered some absenteeism in recent weeks due to an uptick in COVID, though activities in the KOTH open pit, including the completion of the Stage 1 cut-back, are on track to be completed early in the March 2023 quarter.
Red 5 said its guidance for 1H23 production is 90,000-105,000 ounces. Over the next six months, mining volumes in the open pit are expected to stabilise at approximately 1.0-1.1 million bank cubic metres (BCM) monthly.
Additionally, the construction and commissioning of Tailings Storage Facility 5 are expected to be completed in the March quarter of the new year.
Source: Red 5