Advanced explorer Classic Minerals (ASX: CLZ) has finalised the mining of a bulk sample from its flagship Kat Gap gold project near Southern Cross in Western Australia.
The pit was mined within design parameters and took approximately eight weeks to complete.
The gold-rich ore zone, which appeared within 6m of surface, was extracted with minimal dilution and placed on a stockpiled separate from the waste material.
The ore zone was easily distinguished from waste during mining due to its extensive quartz veining and biotite alteration.
Classic said the ore contained very clear footwall and hanging wall contacts, making it easy to extract.
It was also moderately thicker on the pit floor than predicted by the project resource model, which the company said is a positive for future mining operations.
Classic is currently compiling final production figures for Kat Gap, due for market release within the week.
Classic managing director Dean Goodwin said mining of the bulk sample was a significant milestone in Kat Gap’s development.
“It has enabled ore from this project to see the light of day for the very first time [and] I am pleased to report the zone has behaved perfectly and is almost exactly how we pictured it would look,” he said.
“We have been pleasantly surprised at the clean lines separating the ore from waste on the footwall and hanging wall contacts and can confirm the extracted ore has been taken out with minimal dilution.”
He said the company will now commence final metallurgical testing for the Gekko processing plant, approximately 7km from the mine site, and final pit design work ahead of the operational phase for Kat Gap.
Water bore approval
Bulk sampling is the latest in a string of achievements surrounding the development of Kat Gap.
Last month, Classic announced it had received approval from WA’s state government to drill a water bore for use at the Gekko facility, which is expected to hold enough water for the project’s requirements.
Development of the bore field will be done in stages with one bore to be completed, tested and water pumped before commencing on a second, if required.
This approach will allow Classic to manage and draw only the approved amount of water authorised by WA’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.