The first ore from the current mining campaign at North Queensland’s Agate Creek gold mine is running through the plant at Lorena, 15km east of Cloncurry.
Mine owner Laneway Resources said there was about 4400 tonnes of 6g/t gold ore expected to be processed over the next 10 days.
The company has temporarily suspended operations at Agate Creek, about 40km south of Forsayth, due to localised flooding and road closures.
It says almost 500mm of rain fell on the area over a 10-day period in the wake of Cyclone Imogen, with further rainfall predicted from Cyclone Kimi.
“We are pleased to have commenced the processing of the first batch of high-grade ore from the current mining campaign at the Lorena processing plant with material revenue to still be received this quarter,” Laneway chairman Stephen Bizzell said.
“Whilst the recent heavy rainfall and flooding has temporarily suspended mining activities, the delays shouldn’t impact materially on the expected outcomes from the current mining campaign and the plans the company has for a busy 2021 as we focus in parallel on the planning, approvals and development of the larger volume of high-grade ore encompassed by the larger Whittle pit shell, undertake drilling programs targeting over 60 regional exploration targets and then turn our attention to options for onsite processing of the almost half a million ounces of gold resource already identified at Agate Creek.”
Laneway aims to extract 43,000 tonnes at 6.5 g/t gold, or about 9000 oz gold, from the current mining campaign at Agate Creek.
Following the current temporary suspension in mining it is expected that a single cut-back design will be utilised to extract the remaining ore.
Beyond this current mining campaign, the potential for further near-term high-grade mining has also been identified.
The company is looking at a pit shell containing 120,000 tonnes of high-grade material at 5.7 g/t gold for 22,000 oz gold.
Laneway says background environmental studies are being undertaken to allow for lodgement during 2021 of the Environmental Authority amendments required.
The long-term aim for the Agate Creek mine is for conventional on-site processing of the larger commercial grade Mineral Resource of 471,000 ounces of gold that has been defined.