THE INSIDE STORY: As the highly-anticipated Gruyere gold mine moves closer to commissioning, Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR) is making exciting progress at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Gilmour deposit.
Gold Road Resources and its 50:50 Joint Venture partner Gruyere Mining Company Pty Ltd, a member of the Gold Fields Limited group, have made steady progress on construction and commissioning for the Gruyere gold project, located approximately 200 kilometres east of Laverton in Western Australia.
Late last year, the JV announced an updated mine plan for Gruyere based on updates and enhancements to the Feasibility Study (FS) that had been completed by Gold Road back in 2016, before it had struck the JV deal with Gold Fields in November that year.
The new Gruyere mine plan is based on what the JV has learnt while moving the project through the construction stages as it prepares to push the button for a planned safe and efficient start‐up.
The updated mine plan incorporates a new five-staged pit design, which the JV expects to provide lower risk delivery of ore supplies to Gruyere’s processing facilities, while maintaining a similar grade and strip ratio profile identified by the 2016 FS.
The Gruyere JV has invested a substantial amount of time and money into growth projects such as its ongoing exploration on the Gruyere JV tenement areas and pre‐feasibility studies being carried out on the Golden Highway deposits, all located within a 25-kilometre radius from the Gruyere processing facilities.
This has added 3.6 million tonnes at 1.55 grams per tonne gold for 178,500 ounces of Ore Reserves to the mine plan from the Attila and Alaric deposits on the Golden Highway.
The Gruyere JV anticipates its first gold production to come in the June quarter this year, from which it is planning a six to seven‐month ramp‐up to full production.
The forecast life of mine production now averages approximately 300,000 ounces per annum, a substantial increase from an average of 270,000 ounces per annum determined by the FS.
This new forecast is driven by the purchase of larger SAG and Ball Mills, enabling the JV to increase processing throughput to 8.2 million tonnes per annum in fresh rock from 2021, along with slight improvements to expected metallurgical recoveries and the addition of the two Golden Highway deposits.
“With first gold remaining on target for the June 2019 quarter, we have the confidence in Gruyere to be able to provide this update to the life of mine plan for this world‐class project,” Gold Fields executive vice president Australasia Stuart Mathews said.
“The updated mine plan indicates an increase in annual average gold production to 300,000 ounces per annum.
“This update also provides more clarity around Gruyere’s AISC and gold production forecasts.”
Things are definitely taking shape on site with the first ore being mined on schedule in January 2019, a generous amount of which is being stockpiled in order to de-risk the project start-up.
Construction of the Gruyere process plant and infrastructure is progressing at a cracking rate with overall construction at 91.2 per cent as at 18 January 2019.
“It has been an incredible journey for Gold Road, since discovering Gruyere in 2013,” Gold Road managing director and CEO Duncan Gibbs said.
“For Gold Road the updated mine plan means an attributable forecast share of approximately 150,000 ounces of gold on average per annum over the 12-year mine life.
“The cash flow Gruyere will produce from 2019 will be substantial and allow us to deliver tremendous value for shareholders, many of whom have backed us since before we made the discovery.
“Gold Road will continue to work closely with Gold Fields, to safely and successfully conclude construction and commissioning of this world‐class gold operation.”
Exploration remains a strong focus of Gold Road Resources and the company is keen to maintain its reputation as an explorer for, and discoverer of, rich gold deposits.
Gold Road’s Yamarna exploration tenements cover 180 kilometres of greenstone strike, making it one of Australia’s largest greenfields gold exploration projects.
The 100 per cent-owned Northern Project Area that encapsulates the Ibanez (Corkwood) and Bloodwood targets has also demonstrated plenty of potential.
Most recent news has emanated from the 100 per cent-owned Southern Project Area, in particular at the Gilmour Prospect, which is shaping up to be a very interesting discovery in its own right.
The Gilmour prospect has previously exhibited excellent continuity of mineralisation characterised by a consistent and predictable gold-¬bearing quartz vein in most intersections.
Gold Road has focused its efforts at Gilmour on understanding both the geological controls to mineralisation, and the potential economic value of the discovery, from which it has already rapidly advanced the project recording detailed drilling results capable of supporting potential future resource modelling activities.
Gold Road recently completed a round of infill and extensional drilling at the Gilmour deposit that demonstrated exceptional internal consistency and extension to the known high‐grade gold mineralisation.
The most recent intersections from Gilmour include:
0.62 metres at 117.78 grams per tonne gold from 340.55m;
1.78m at 29.68g/t gold from 290m, including 0.96m at 54.59g/t gold from 290.82m;
19m at 2.78g/t gold from 63m, including 6m at 7.08g/t gold from 76m;
8m at 6.18g/t gold from 143m, including 2m at 22.27g/t gold from 147m;
3m at 13.99g/t gold from 124m, including 1m at 40.01g/t gold from 124m; and
3m at 13.84g/t gold from 180m, including 1m at 38.23g/t gold from 180m.
Gold Road remains confident these contiguous high‐grade results provide considerable scope for strike and down‐dip extensions to the known mineralisation at Gilmour.
The drilling program, comprising 11 diamond holes for 3,521m and 22 Reverse Circulation (RC) holes for 3,941m, was designed to infill previously reported high‐grade results.
The RC drilling was completed to an average 50m by 50m spacing to a vertical depth of 150m with the diamond drilling spaced at an average 100m centres from 150m to 300m below surface.
Drilling undertaken on the Gilmour Main Shear defined gold mineralisation over a 500m strike length and a dip extent of 300m.
A further diamond drilling program designed specifically to test the Waters Fault at the north end of the Gilmour deposit, returned high‐grade intersections associated with visible gold in quartz veining observed within the fault zone.
Gold Road interpreted these results to demonstrate additional exploration potential exists in parallel mineralised structures.
“This last round of infill and extensional drilling proved very successful in confirming the high‐grade nature of the mineralisation at Gilmour, with abundant free gold consistently intersected in both diamond and RC drilling,” Gold Road Executive Director ‐ Exploration & Growth Justin Osborne said.
“More importantly, the drilling demonstrated a highly predictable geometry to the main shear zone as well as indications of possible parallel structures which only adds to the upside of this exciting new discovery.
“Our 2019 drilling programs will kick off in February with diamond and RC drilling targeting further extensions to the currently defined Gilmour footprint prior to commencing detailed drilling for resource assessment.”
Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR)
…The Short Story
26 Colin Street
West Perth WA 6005
Ph: +61 8 9200 1600
Tim Netscher, Duncan Gibbs, Justin Osborne, Sharon Warburton, Brian Levet