AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd and Independence Group NL have approved development of the Boston Shaker Underground Project at the Tropicana Gold Mine in Western Australia.
A Feasibility Study has confirmed that underground mining is technically and financially viable, demonstrating robust economics with an anticipated IRR of 39 per cent for a capital investment of $79.3 million.
Boston Shaker will contribute higher grade mill feed, resulting in an improved gold production profile and enhanced cash flow. Importantly the underground mine will provide improved cash flow during 2021-2023 when the mine plan includes periods of higher waste stripping in the Havana open pit.
Ore from the underground mine will enable Tropicana gold production to be maintained at between 450,000-500,000 ounces per annum over the next five years, lifting the average to 480,000 oz. per annum over the five year period.
The project will commence in the June quarter 2019 and first gold is scheduled for the September quarter in 2020.
Ludwig Eybers, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer International said underground mining at Boston Shaker will leverage further value from Tropicana, achieving pay-back in just over three years.
“An ongoing focus on Operational Excellence has enabled Tropicana to consistently exceed expectations, and I am sure this world class performance will extend into the underground operation.”
The expanded ore production from the mine will capitalise on investments made in the Tropicana processing plant, which includes the second ball mill, commissioned in November 2018, increasing throughput capacity to 8.1 Mtpa.
The Boston Shaker ore body remains open at depth and the JV partners will continue to test high grade extensions to the Mineral Resource beneath the Tropicana and Havana pits to assess the opportunity for further underground mining operations.