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Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX:GOR) is on schedule for the first gold production in the June quarter and commercial production in the second half of 2019 at the Gruyere JV project in WA’s Yamarna Belt.
First ore was mined in January 2019 and a production target of 100,000-120,000 ounces for 2019 has been established by the Gruyere JV partners.
The 50:50 JV with Gold Fields Ltd (NYSE:GFI) (JSE:GFI) is anticipating mining rates to peak at about 60 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) in 2023 and average 35 Mtpa over the mine life.
An updated mine plan was revealed in December 2018, confirming Gruyere as a global Tier 1 gold mine with a long life and forecast high margins based on life-of-mine average annual production of 300,000 ounces.
Yamarna Gold Discovery
Gold Road also holds interests in the Yamarna tenements covering about 6,000 square kilometres, providing access to one of the most highly prospective yet under-explored greenstone belts in Western Australia.
The company’s exploration program in 2018 delivered significant results across the Yamarna Terrane which incorporates the Yamarna and Dorothy Hills Greenstone Belts.
The primary focus of Gold Road’s exploration activities continues to be the discovery of multi-million ounce deposits or clusters of deposits that can underpin a new stand-alone gold mine development.
Gold Road had signed two earn-in joint venture agreements with Cygnus in late 2017 covering about 3,400 square kilometres of the Wadderin and Lake Grace greenfields exploration projects in Western Australia.
The earn-in agreements allow Gold Road to secure up to a 75% interest in these two areas.
Activity in 2018 focused on gravity surveys and surface soil sampling ahead of a campaign of aircore and reverse circulation (RC) drilling that commenced in the first quarter 2019.
Gold Road has an approved total exploration budget of $20 million across the project areas for 2019, of which $17 million will be allocated to its 100% owned Yamarna tenements, $1.5 million to the Gruyere JV (100% basis) and $1.5 million to the Cygnus JV (under the sole-funding earn-in process).
This budget commitment confirms the Yamarna exploration program as one of the largest of its kind in Australia, and Gold Road as one of the most active greenfields gold explorers globally.
The 2019 program has been planned to include 40,000 to 50,000 metres of RC and diamond drilling, and about 75,000 metres of aircore drilling as well as geophysics across about 200 square kilometres of unexplored tenure.
The priority focus for 2019 will be to define the full extent of the mineralised system on the Gilmour-Morello Project prior to infill drilling at Gilmour in support of a maiden resource.