Mar 07, 2017

Green light for Sarsfield open-pit operations

Green light for Sarsfield open-pit operations

Resolute Mining has received the green light to recommence mining at the Sarsfield open pit, a key plank in a $285 million project to extend the life of its Ravenswood gold operatons.

The company announced today that the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection had issued the final approved Amended Environmental Authority for the recommencement of mining at Sarsfield.

Receipt of the final Environmental Authority follows the granting of Prescribed Project status to the Ravenswood Expansion Project (REP) by the Queensland Government late last year.

“The Amended Environmental Approval we have received is a critically important aspect of our plans to expand production and extend the mine life of our Ravenswood gold mine,” Resolute managing director and chief executive officer John Welborn said.

Resolute Mining managing director and chief executive officer John Welborn.

“We have already successfully recommenced open pit mining at the nearby Nolans East pit and have increased processing capacity to 2.8 million tonnes per annum while we continue underground operations at Mt Wright.

“The next stage of our expansion plans require approvals to recommence mining activities at the Sarsfield open pit mine before advancing to the adjacent Buck Reef West deposit.”

The REP will extend Resolute Mining’s local operations for a further 13 years to at least 2029 and increase average annual gold production to more than 120,000 ounces.

The feasibility study into the REP has shown the project would require initial start-up capital of $134 million for pre-stripping and processing plant expansion, as part of a total $258 million capital spend staged over six years to 2022.

Mr Welborn said extending the mine life at Ravenswood would help maintain long-term employment for a local workforce of about 280 people and provide a short-term boost of up to 100 new construction jobs.

“From an environmental aspect, we have incorporated a number of important improvements into our plans which have not only enhanced the future environmental outcomes, but importantly have also boosted economic outcomes,” he said.

“The amended approval allows us to process and place additional tailings resulting from our expansion plans using an innovative dry stacked tailing system. We will now work with the various Queensland Government agencies, using the assistance of the Coordinator General’s department, to ensure the remaining approvals we require, most importantly for open-pit mining to commence at Buck Reef West, are also received on a timely basis.”