Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

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REGIONAL NEWS - AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA 12 E&MJ • JANUARY 2019 www.e-mj.com Amrun Mine Ships First Bauxite Rio Tinto's new Amrun bauxite mine on the Cape York peninsula in north Queensland shipped its first bauxite in early December 2018, six weeks ahead of schedule. The $1.9 billion project will replace production from the company's depleting East Weipa mine and increase its annual bauxite exports by around 10 million metric tons per year (mt/y). At full production, Amrun will have the capacity to produce 22.8 million mt/y. Amrun development included con- struction of the bauxite mine and asso- ciated processing and port facilities on the Cape York peninsula. Production and shipping will ramp up during the first half of 2019, with expectations that full production will be achieved by the end of the year. The project's design provides options for future expansion to 50 million mt/y. "Bringing Amrun online further strengthens our position as a leading sup- plier in the seaborne market," Rio Tinto Aluminum Chief Executive Alf Barrios said. "We have the largest bauxite re- sources in the industry and are geograph- ically well-positioned to supply China's significant future import needs, as well as supporting our refinery and smelting oper- ations in Australia and New Zealand." "The Amrun mine will ensure gener- ational jobs for Queenslanders and build significantly on our 55-year history on the Western Cape." Gruyere Gold Production Could Increase Gold Road Resources and Gruyere Mining Co., a member of the Gold Fields group, have released an updated mine plan for their 50:50 joint-venture Gruyere gold project, which is nearing completion 200 km east of Laverton, Western Aus- tralia. The life-of-mine plan now calls for gold production of about 300,000 ounc- es per year (oz/y) over a 12-year mine life, up from 270,000-oz/y forecast in the 2016 feasibility study. Mill process- ing throughput has increased from 7.5 million metric tons per year (mt/y) to 8.2 million mt/y. The production increase was driven by purchase of larger SAG and ball mills, lifting processing throughput to 8.2 mil- lion mt/y in fresh rock beginning in 2021; slight improvements to expected metal- lurgical recoveries; and the addition of two deposits to the mine plan. The updated plan now calls for min - ing of 96.6 million mt at an average head grade of 1.21 g/mt gold. All-in sustaining costs are forecast at A$1,600/oz. First gold production from the Gruyere project remains on target for the June quarter of 2019. As of November 2018, all major equipment and materials were on site and overall project and EPC con- struction (process plant and associated infrastructure) were 85% and 77% com- plete, respectively. "It has been an incredible journey for Gold Road since discovering Gruyere in 2013," said Gold Road Managing Di- rector and CEO Duncan Gibbs "The cash fl ow Gruyere will produce from 2019 will be substantial." PFS Confirms Potential for Tropicana Underground Ops Independence Group NL has report- ed the results of a prefeasibility study (PFS) that supports development of an underground mine beneath the Boston Shaker pits at the Tropicana mine 330 km east-northeast of Kalgoorlie, West- ern Australia. Tropicana is a joint ven- ture between AngloGold Ashanti, 70% owner and manager, and Independ- ence Group, 30%. A feasibility study of the potential underground mine is now in progress. The PFS considered an underground mine producing about 1 million metric tons per year (mt/y) of plant feed and 100,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold over a mine life of about seven years. The project would require an estimated capi- tal investment of A$95 million. The underground operation would be aligned with the open-pit design and schedule, capitalizing on process plant improvements delivered in late November 2018 through the successful commis- sioning of a second ball mill. Underground indicated and inferred mineral resources currently total 10.6 million mt at a grade of 4.2 grams/mt gold for 1.45 million oz of contained gold. The resource estimate is based on 175,000 m of drilling in 1,436 holes. Further infill drilling completed during October and November 2018, for a total of 16,098 m drilled, is not included in the estimate. Additional drilling to define ore re- serves is ongoing. The resource remains open at depth and will be further explored during mining operations. Initial portal development is antici- pated to start from within the completed Tropicana pit in mid-2019. Full produc- tion levels should be reached in 2021, with the last stopes currently scheduled to be mined in 2026. Underground mate- rial will be blended with open-pit ore and processed in the existing mill. More than 80,000 mt were loaded onto the RTM Weipa for delivery to Rio Tinto's Yarwun alumina refinery.

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