Empire Resources (ASX: ERL) has achieved the major milestone of the first gold pour from its Penny’s Find mine as it continues to ramp up production and exploration.
Empire Managing Director, Mr David Sargeant, paid tribute to the company’s employees, contractors, shareholders and community stakeholders for helping the company to start producing gold bars so quickly.
“There has been a huge effort put in by our small team of employees and contractors who have contributed to this company milestone,’’ said Mr Sargeant.
Lakewood site of first gold pour
The first dore gold bar was poured at the Lakewood toll milling facility south of Kalgoorlie from a portion of the gold recovered by a gravity separation circuit in the processing of Penny’s Find ore.
Further gold pours of gravity and leach circuit gold at Lakewood are expected later this week, as the mill continues to work through an additional 9000 tonnes of stockpiled Penny’s Find ore.
A further 16,000 tonnes of Penny’s Find ore has been transported to the Burbanks toll milling facility south of Coolgardie and is currently being processed, with a gold pour from this round of processing expected later this week.
Exploration continues for grade control and potential underground phase
There has been a flurry of activity at the Penny’s Find mine, 50 km northeast of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, as the open pit mine continues to produce high grade ore.
At the same time two drilling campaigns are being conducted – one shallow and one deep – to help with grade control and provide important data for studying the feasability of the mine progressing to an underground stage.
While not all of the drilling results are in, the grades shown so far have confirmed that ore at the bottom of the Penny’s Find pit is high grade and that the deposit remains open at depth.
Tight control on costs
Empire Resources has also been very active in trying to keep production costs at a minimum by trialling different toll treatment plants.
As well as production which is continuing at the Lakewood and Burbank facilities, Empire has also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Poseidon Nickel, to evaluate the option of using its Black Swan mill to process Penny’s Find ore.
Black Swan is just 48 kilometres by road from Penny’s Find, with lower road haulage costs making it a potentially cheaper processing option compared to the 63 kilometre trip to Lakewood and the 105 kilometre trip to Burbanks.