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The Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia is set to become one of the deepest open cut gold mines in Australia as Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources plot an extension of the joint venture mine's life.
Through the design of an open pit comprising two additional mine stage areas, Gruyere will deepen to an approximate depth of 500 metres below the surface.
This will see the life of the open pit extended until 2032, as Gold Road and Gold Fields set their sights on an average gold production of 350,000 ounces per annum into the future.
It comes as the two companies announced updated ore reserves for Gruyere.
As of the end of September, the Gruyere open pit ore reserve totalled 110.4 million tonnes at 1.28 grams per tonne of gold for 4.54 million ounces.
This is a 31 per cent increase of 1.07 million ounces following the depletion of approximately 210,000 ounces during 2021.
"This is a material increase in ore reserves that further establishes Gruyere as a Tier 1 gold mine," Gold Road managing director and chief executive officer Duncan Gibbs said.
"The update is the culmination of multiple comprehensive high-quality studies undertaken by the Gruyere joint venture."
Between 2019 and 2021, Gold Road and Gold Fields have conducted extensive analysis into Gruyere's greater potential.
Following geotechnical drilling and analysis, Gruyere will see a steepening of its overall fresh rock slope angles by four degrees. Metallurgical drilling and test work has confirmed consistent wealth within the orebody at depth.
Gold Road and Gold Fields will look at implementing two independent dual lane ramping systems to support Gruyere's deepening, enabling increased operational flexibility.
Options studies have been completed to assess potential expansions of tailings storage capacity to meet the increased mine production.
Gruyere produced 59,371 ounces of gold (on a 100 per cent basis) in the September quarter, an increase from 53,132 ounces in the three months prior.