Orminex (ASX: ONX) has delivered its second major gold pour from its 51%-owned Comet Vale mine in Western Australia’s goldfields, with this latest pour generating 1,940 ounces of gold.
The gold was extracted from 15,480t of ore that had been mined from the Kings Bounty underground deposit.
Mined ore was then processed at the Lakewood mill this month with a 97% recovery rate and average head grade of 4.01 grams per tonne gold.
According to Orminex the grade and recovery rate were in line with the company’s expectations particularly given the ore was a mixture of 70% development material and 30% production ore.
The company anticipates grade will improve as the ratio of production ore increases in line with its mine plan.
Orminex executive chairman Daryl Henthorn said the higher ratio of production ore will be processed during the December campaign.
“We have long held the view that there is considerable upside and potential to expand the current mine plan at Comet Vale below the sixth-level and we will commence drilling and technical evaluation of a mine plan extension next month,” he added.
Activity continues to ramp up at the underground Kings Bounty deposit with Orminex targeting 10,000t per month.
Air legging and longhole stoping mining is underway and accounted for about 30% of the ore in the recent campaign.
To prolong the mine’s life, Orminex is evaluating an extension below the current mine plan.
Orminex said it was optimistic that mining would continue beyond the sixth level.
“With the decline centred in the resource and most of the mine development complete for access, the proposed extension would underpin further production,” the company stated.
Penny’s Find gold mine
Orminex is looking to begin mining the Penny’s Find gold mine before the end of the year, which is about a one-hour drive from Comet Vale.
Site works are scheduled for later this quarter and Orminex is focused on securing requisite mining approvals.
Unique business model
Orminex and WA contract mining company GBF formed a strategic alliance last year.
The duo is working with a Mineral Ventures model, which aims to source, develop and fund stranded high-grade gold assets into production.
In addition to its interest in Comet Vale and Penny’s Find, Orminex wholly-owns the Golden Lode asset located 130km from Coolgardie and the Happy Jack project just 30km from Menzies.
Macmahon Holdings (ASX: MAH) recently acquired GBF, which Orminex says expands the Mineral Ventures model into unlocking the value of surface mining projects.
Orminex also noted that despite Macmahon acquiring GBF, the current alliance remains unchanged.
GBF is responsible for overseeing all operational management across Orminex’s projects.
Meanwhile, Orminex is looking to add several other projects to its portfolio that can be developed as part of the alliance.
The alliance hopes to take advantage of prevailing high gold prices which have been hovering above A$2,000/oz since July.
Orminex’s share price was steady at $0.09 in early morning trade.