The SKO comprises the HBJ underground mine, a number of open pits and the Jubilee Mill, a 1.2 million tonne-per-annum CIP gold processing plant and associated infrastructure. Numerous open pits and underground options previously have been mined within the project area since the late 1980s.
Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves
At 30 June 2016 SKO had the following Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves:
- A Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 50.9 million tonnes at 2.27 g/t gold, containing 3.7 million ounces of gold; and
- A Proved and Probable Reserve of 2.3 million tonnes of ore at 2.60 g/t gold, containing 192,000 ounces of gold.
Production and Mine Plan
Since the acquisition of SKO from Alacer in 2013, Westgold has moved the project from one of imminent closure to a steady state operation. The early phases of this transition was primarily the processing of existing low-grade ore stocks in combination with small-scale open pits and toll processing (the latter comprising one third of ore feed for the June 2016 quarter). The focus on future and the key to the re-invigoration of the project has been the re-development of the HBJ underground mine. Initial refurbishment works including the reclamation of the old decline, its extension and the mining of remnant ore positions (with some extensions) has been completed and ore stoping commenced in early 2016. The decline has approached the bottom of the old workings and ore development on the higher grade and virgin primary lodes is about to recommence. Production from the HBJ mine is expected to be approximately 500,000 tonnes per annum, providing a steady and consistent base load of higher grade ore to the SKO processing plant.