AuStar Gold (ASX: AUL) has poured the first gold at the Morning Star gold mine since 2012, achieving a new milestone for its investors and gold operations team.
The company shared its first gold bar and maiden gold pour on its video channel with the market this afternoon.
“It is very gratifying to be able to announce that AuStar has conducted its first gold pour at the Morning Star gold mine,” AuStar chief executive officer Tom de Vries said.
“This is a major milestone for a gold explorer-developer and is a proud testament to the commitment and dedication of the AuStar gold operations team. This maiden gold pour is further proof of our gravity processing plant’s ability and strategic importance in the Woods Point goldfield.”
Morning Star, which is 120km from Melbourne in Victoria, was recommissioned in April after the existing processing plant was upgraded. The ingot was produced from the previous operator’s lower grade gold stockpiles.
AuStar labelled its efforts a triumph, reporting the “processing plant has also successfully proven it can process hard diorite material from the Morning Star gold mine”, which had been a previous concern for earlier operators.
Morning Star gold mine
AuStar picked up the Morning Star Gold company and its assets in 2015, which included the historic gold mine, 80,000 tonne a year processing plant, backfill facility and large tenement holdings.
Tailings can be placed underground at the processing plant via the backfill plant.
In the late 1950s, Morning Star was one of Australia’s largest gold mines, producing more than 800,000 ounces at an average grade of 26.5 grams per tonne gold over its lifetime.
Gold Mines of Australia owned and operated the mine, which later became part of Western Mining Corporation.
The Morning Star infrastructure AuStar picked up in 2015 also included a high-speed winder, and surface and underground power supplies.
In addition to Morning Star, AuStar is investigating the gold prospectivity at adjoining tenements in the Walhalla to Jamieson gold district, with a focus on the Woods Point Dyke Swarm. The company aims to develop a low-cost, high-grade gold operations across the landholding.
The Australian Walhalla to Woods Point goldfield has produced more than 155 tonnes (6Moz), according to public records.
AuStar securities were trading unchanged by late afternoon at A$0.009.