Aspiring gold producer Classic Minerals (ASX: CLZ) has commenced bulk sample mining at its wholly-owned Kat Gap project near Southern Cross in Western Australia.
WA’s industry regulator approved the mining of a bulk ore sample from a trial pit in June and earthmoving equipment has since been mobilised to site.
Over the next three months, the defined mining area will expose up to 5,000 tonnes of ore grading between 4 grams per tonne and 6g/t gold for up to 1,000 contained ounces.
It represents a small portion of the current 93,000oz gold mineral resource at Kat Gap.
The process will assist in calibrating mining and metallurgy parameters prior to full-scale mining and production in the first quarter of next year.
The bulk sampling exercise is considered to be an important step ahead of production activities at Kat Gap.
It gives Classic an opportunity to test and refine the 30t per hour capacity Gekko processing plant, which was commissioned in Perth earlier this year.
“Bulk sampling will allow us to finetune the plant, thereby putting us ahead when we start mining [and ensuring] we do not waste time,” the company said.
“The start of sampling was delayed by long heavy rains [however] the weather will not hamper our [planned] production … which is on track for commencement in the first quarter of 2022.”
Classic has made considerable progress at Kat Gap in the last three months as it strives to become a gold producer.
In its June quarterly report, the company posted highlights including advances in the project’s engineering, mining and metallurgical studies, and the return of assays from the drilling of 28 deep infill holes for 2,548m and one single shallow reverse circulation hole for 40m.
Drilling was focused on filling the gap created artificially between previous shallow drill holes, which tested the oxide profile, and much deeper holes, which tested the down dip extent of the main granite-greenstone contact lode.
Classic said if the gap could be filled in by zones of higher-grade gold mineralisation, final optimisation work may drive pit designs deeper allowing it to access more minable ounces.
Further work will now be undertaken to incorporate the new gold intersections into the current Kat Gap resource model.