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Golden skies unveiled at Gruyere - Mining Weekly

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

PERTH ( – Gold miner Gold Road Resources has flagged a potential increase in annual production from its Gruyere joint venture (JV) with South Africa’s Gold Fields over the next three years.

Gold Road on Tuesday told shareholders that the three-year production outlook for the Gruyere project, in Western Australia, had shown a 35% to 50% increase in annual production and the potential for significant free cash flow growth to sustain production of some 350 000 oz.

The ASX-listed company noted that the three-year outlook incorporated a five-stage openpit, and included reserves, which were constrained within the original 2016 feasibility study pit design.

The outlook also depicts an improving trend with higher grades and increased throughput combining for a favourable impact on production, and has incorporated the experience gained at the operation since mining started in 2018.

Gold Road told shareholders that minimal capital expenditure would be required at the Gruyere process plant to achieve the targeted throughput increases to ten-million tonnes a year, while low all-in sustaining costs would be maintained.

Since operations started 18 months ago, the JV partners have been working on operational improvements to operate the process plant above its nameplate design of 7.5-million tonnes a year, and the 2020 rate of 8.1-million tonnes a year.

Key drives to increase this annual process plant throughput include improving the process plant utilization rate by upgrades to the pebble crushing circuit, increasing the wear life of crusher liners and the life of the semi-autogenous grinding and ball mill liners, improving maintenance work planning and scheduling, and enhanced operating practices.

The JV partners would also undertake an upgrade to the powerhouse, enabling the process plant to operate reliably at full capacity under all conditions, mine to mill optimisation, additional instrumentation and process control improvements, and continued minor debottlenecking of the process plant.

"Gold Road aspires to be a long-life, low cost and sustainable gold producer of circa 300 000 oz a year. The 2021 growth strategy aligns with this and focuses on realising shareholder value through optimising and growing Gruyere production at minimal costs, as well as maintaining our strong focus on meaningful organic growth from our 100%-owned Yamarna exploration project," said Gold Road MD and CEO Duncan Gibbs.

Gibbs on Tuesday pointed out that the Gruyere operation is expected to increase its production to between 260 000 oz and 300 000 oz in 2021, of which between 130 000 oz to 150 000 oz would be attributable to Gold Road, compared with the 129 087 oz attributable delivered in 2020.

An updated ore reserve for Gruyere is expected in the first half of this year, and additional drilling is also planned at the project.

Meanwhile, Gold Road has set an exploration budget of A$27-million for its on-ground exploration activities at its Yamarna and Yandina projects, also in Western Australia, for 2021. 

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