The Regis Resources Limited Board has approved the development of an underground mining operation directly below the current Rosemont open pit as part of an expansion of the company’s existing operations in Western Australia.
The combined open pit and underground Rosemont mine is scheduled to deliver 10.3 million tonnes of ore at 1.72 grams per tonne for 570,000 ounces over an estimated five-year mine life. Regis has announced that the open pit, JORC compliant reserves of 356,000 ounces will make up 62 per cent of this schedule, with 214,000 ounces expected to be delivered from the underground operation.
The underground component of the expanded operation will exploit the underground Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at Rosemont. Development work is set to commence in the current quarter and following this, an updated MRE (including recent infill and extensional drilling) is expected to be finalised by the end of the current quarter.
“The decision to approve the first development of an underground mine at one of our Duketon operations is a very exciting step for Regis. We believe that the approved Rosemont underground operation is a robust business in its own right but just as importantly will see the infrastructure in place to grow that mine through exploration from an established underground footprint. This growth opportunity will be targeted both laterally between the two mining zones and at depth and along strike. There is also a very strong opportunity to replicate this development path at Garden Well in the near term and then at other Duketon satellite pits in due course,” commented Regis Executive Chairman, Mark Clark late last week.
Commencement of portal development in the southern end of Rosemont Main is expected in the March 2019 quarter with the processing of the underground material expected to commence in the December 2019 quarter. Mining rates of the expanded operation will continue to be around 2.1 million tonnes per annum, with the underground component of this mining schedule being in the range between 480,000 to 600,000 tonnes per annum.
It was also just announced that pre-production capital for the underground expansion is expected to be in the order of $29.4 million and a further $9.7 million is forecast over the life of mine.
More information on this announcement and more can be accessed here.