THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Doray Minerals (ASX: DRM) has graduated to big boys’ trousers having officially made the transition from mineral explorer to gold miner.
The rite of passage follows the commencement of open pit mining operations at the company’s 100 per cent-owned high-grade Andy Well gold project in the northern Murchison region of Western Australia.
Doray has begun mining of the high-grade stage 1 open pit, following receipt of final approvals, which the company said is scheduled to take approximately four months to complete.
Commencement of open pit mining operations at Andy Well gold project. Source: Company announcement
Based on the mining reserve quoted as part of the Andy Well BFS, the stage 1 open pit comprises 32,000 tonnes at 14.9 grams per tonne gold for approximately 15,000 contained ounces.
Following completion of a five metre pre-strip, the high-grade open pit ore will be stockpiled in anticipation of the commissioning of the processing plant, scheduled for mid-2013, while waste material will be used for construction of various items of site infrastructure, including the tailings storage facility and ROM pad.
Once the stage 1 open pit reaches competent bedrock, at approximately 40m below surface, the portal will be established, followed by development of the decline and other underground infrastructure to access the high-grade underground mining reserve of 600,000 tonnes at 11.4g/t for 220,000 contained ounces.
The commencement of mining at Andy Well is the first new gold mining operation in the Murchison goldfields region in over 10 years.
“Ever since the company’s maiden drilling campaign back in March 2010, we have worked towards this milestone and it is therefore very satisfying to be able to announce the commencement of open pit mining at Andy Well,” Doray Minerals managing director Allan Kelly said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“In contrast to a number of other current and proposed gold operations in the Murchison, the Andy Well gold project is based around a new greenfields gold discovery, the Wilber Lode gold deposit, rather than a previously mined deposit on a granted mining lease with existing infrastructure.
“The fact that we have been able to work through the various development, funding and approvals milestones and commence mining before some of these other established projects, is a testament not only to the quality of the Andy Well project, but also to the hard work of our staff, contractors and consultants over the last two and a half years since the initial discovery.”
Doray indicated a 126-person accommodation village is nearing completion and site works for the processing plant and other mining infrastructure have also commenced.