AngloGold Ashanti and joint venture partner Independence Group have approved a $79.3m underground expansion project at the Tropicana gold mine in Western Australia.
The Boston Shaker Underground Project is expected to contribute higher grade mill feed, resulting in an improved gold production profile and enhanced cash flow. Importantly the underground mine will provide improved cash flow during 2021-2023 when the mine plan includes periods of higher waste stripping in the Havana open pit.
Ore from the underground mine will enable Tropicana gold production to be maintained at between 450,000-500,000 ounces per annum (100%) over the next five years, lifting the average to 480,000 ounces per annum over the five-year period.
The project will commence in the June quarter 2019. Boston Shaker is expected to contribute around 100,000 ounces a year with first gold scheduled for the September quarter in 2020.
Ludwig Eybers, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer International, commented: “Underground mining at Boston Shaker will leverage further value from this high performing operation, achieving pay-back in just over three years.
“An ongoing focus on Operational Excellence has enabled Tropicana to consistently exceed expectations, and I am sure this world class performance will extend into the underground operation.”
The Boston Shaker ore body remains open at depth and the JV partners will continue to test high grade extensions to the Mineral Resource beneath the Tropicana and Havana pits to assess the opportunity for further underground mining operations.
Tropicana Gold Mine, a joint venture between AngloGold Ashanti (70% and manager) and Independence Group NL (30%), is located 200km east of Sunrise Dam and 330km east-northeast of Kalgoorlie. The operation began gold production in September 2013 following development approval in November 2010.