The layout of the Tujuh Bukit mine site has been efficiently organized and structured. Ore will be dug out from the open-cut mine at the top of the bukit or hill, from where they will be transported downhill by dump trucks to the Ore Preparation Plant. Here, the large ores will be crushed into small fist-sized clumps no larger than 75 mm in diameter. They will then be agglomerated with cement and transported by trucks downhill to the heap leach pads, where they will be evenly stacked across all five bays, and sprayed by diluted sodium cyanide solution for the leaching process. Finally, the gold and silver are recovered in the standard gold processing plant.
First ore was placed under irrigation on the HLP in February 2017 with first gold production in March 2017. Thereafter, operations continued to ramp-up to full nameplate capacity which was achieved in Q3 2017. In June 2018, Kappes Cassidy & Associates (Australia), assessed leaching performance and found actual project-to-date gold and silver recoveries met predicted recoveries and are in line with 78% - 82% gold recoveries for oxide ores over the full 150-day leach cycle.
During the June quarter, ore mining, crushing, agglomeration and heap leach pad activities continued at levels exceeding the 4 million dry tonnes nameplate annualised rate. Full year 2018 production guidance remains unchanged.
Oxide Expansion Project (“OXP”) to double installed capacity for ore crushing, stacking and processing to 8 million tonnes per annum is on schedule for completion by Q1 2019.
Mining and ore stacking ramping up to maximum production rate of 8 million dry tonnes per annum of ore once the OXP is completed. The expansion works include a second ore preparation plant (“OPP”) circuit that essentially replicates the current circuit, expansion of the total heap leach pad area “(HLP”) capacity from 36 Mt to 56 Mt and debottlenecking of the adsorption, desorption and recovery (“ADR”) gold plant. Mining is sequenced to deliver the highest available grades over the first three years of the mine life. Total estimated LOM production of 1.1 million recoverable ounces of gold and 4.7 million recoverable ounces of silver is planned over the remaining 8 years of mine life, bringing total LOM gold produced including 2017 production to 1.2 million ounces of gold.
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