AuStar Gold (ASX: AUL) has processed its first gold concentrate and poured its first gold ingot from the Rose of Denmark mine in Victoria’s eastern goldfields.
This achievement comes just two months after the company poured the first gold in six years at its nearby Morning Star mine, and eight months after diamond drilling at Rose of Denmark commenced.
AuStar chief executive officer Tom de Vries said the processing of this first parcel of gold-bearing material was “another significant achievement” and “demonstrates the benefits” of the company’s recent decision to acquire a full 100% interest in the mine.
The gold-bearing material was mined from above the level of the main Rose of Denmark adit then initially stockpiled at the mine. The material is currently being trucked and processed at AuStar’s gravity gold processing plant.
According to the company, the average throughput rates of the Rose of Denmark material are higher than the Morning Star material previously processed, due to the softer nature of the Rose of Denmark mineralisation.
In addition, AuStar said significant visible gold has been observed on the gravity separation table.
Morning Star project
The Rose of Denmark mine lies within the Morning Star project, which AuStar acquired in 2015. It is about 120km east of Melbourne in Victoria’s Walhalla to Woods Point gold field.
The project also hosts other historic mines across its multiple tenements, including the Morning Star mine that historically produced more than 800,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 26.5 grams per tonne of gold over its lifetime.
AuStar recommissioned the Morning Star mine in April following an upgrade to the existing processing plant and achieved its maiden gold pour from the mine in May.
The company then commenced mining operations at Rose of Denmark just over three weeks ago to extract material for processing and gold dore production.
This milestone followed last month’s announcement of outstanding high-grade gold assay results from a diamond drilling program at the mine, including an intersection in excess of 100g/t gold.
Also in June, the company completed its 100% acquisition of the Rose of Denmark mine via the issue of A$225,000 in shares and 45 million unlisted options to previous 51% owner of the mining licence, Shandong Tianye Real Estate Development Group.
AuStar said mining was continuing without compromising future access along the main adit level.
Four zones are being targeted for mining based on recent diamond drilling with three being initially developed using traditional handheld mining.
According to the company, handheld mining allows close sampling, assaying, photography and geological mapping.
“This program allows the company to identify both the geological and metallurgical characteristics of the ore type to gain a full understanding on the conversion of drilling results to mined grades and in addition, bring forward a contribution to cash flow,” AuStar reported.
The company plans to continue mining and processing Rose of Denmark material “as rapidly as possible, with the appropriate permitting to allow a mechanised mining system to be undertaken”.
AuStar is anticipating this first phase will take two to three months.
Shares in AuStar were unchanged at A$0.007 by late afternoon trade.