Famed Pilbara conglomerate gold explorer Artemis Resources (ASX: ARV) has reported it plans to use ore from its Weerianna gold project as initial feedstock for its Radio Hill processing plant in Western Australia.
The Weerianna gold project has a resource of 1 million tonnes at 2.2 grams per tonne gold for 70,000oz of contained gold. Artemis has undertaken a pit optimisation study to look at processing 50,000 tonnes per month, for four months, of Weerianna ore at Radio Hill once it is recommissioned in June.
Artemis executive chairman David Lenigas said the pit optimisation study for using Weerianna ore was “positive” and the company now planned to gain mining approvals for Weerianna to begin mining in conjunction with Radio Hill’s planned commissioning.
AMC Consultants carried out the study, which set the base gold price at A$1,650 per ounce. Combined processing and mining costs are estimated at A$31.5/t.
Open pit mining is planned to begin at the optimised West and East Stage 1 starter pits. The West pit has a resource of 90,908t grading 2.96g/t gold with 533,781t of waste, while the East pit has 184,735t grading 2.01g/t gold with 269,959t of waste.
“As announced last week, Artemis is reviewing all of its projects in the Karratha area to prioritise potential plant feed for the Radio Hill plant in readiness for its recommissioning scheduled for June this year,” Mr Lenigas said.
“Current plans are to kick-off with a gold only strategy to commission the plant’s new gold circuit for a number of months,” Mr Lenigas added.
In order to boost confidence and resources, Artemis has planned a reverse circulation drilling program for April to infill drill at Weerianna and define mineralisation along strike and at depth.
As part of the program, Artemis hopes to publish an updated resource prior to beginning mining.
Shares in Artemis were steady at A$0.19 in early afternoon trade.