Tropicana joint venture partners, AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd and Independence Group NL (IGO) have announced that a pre-feasibility study (PFS) into the development of an underground mine beneath the Boston Shaker pits at Tropicana confirms that underground mining is ‘technically and financially viable’.
Located 330 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, the study found that the underground mine has the potential to deliver approximately 1 million tonnes per annum of resources to produce roughly 100,000 ounces per annum over a life-of-mine of approximately seven years (subject to change).
Plans indicate that the underground operation will be aligned with the JV’s open pit design and schedule, capitalising on process plant improvements delivered in late November 2018 through the successful commissioning of the second ball mill.
Full production levels are estimated to be reached in 2021, with the last stopes scheduled to be mined in 2026.
However, for the project to go ahead, it would require an estimated capital investment of AU$95 million.
In response to the PFS findings, IGO’s Managing Director Peter Bradford said the study demonstrates the potential viability of underground mining beneath the Boston Shaker open pits that integrates with the existing open pit life-of-mine.
“Delivery of Boston Shaker underground will result in an improved grade and gold production profile from Tropicana from FY21,” he stated.
The Tropicana joint venture partners, AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd and IGO now plan to progress toward a Feasibility Study.
The completion of the Feasibility Study and a financial commitment to the Boston Shaker underground development is expected in the second half of FY19.
More information on this project can be found here.