Extending mine life until at least the end of 2019 has potential to generate additional revenue for Red River.
The ore reserve has increased 10% to 600,000 tonnes at 11.6% zinc equivalent, taking overall Thalanga reserves to 2.1 million tonnes at 11.9% zinc equivalent.
Mill throughput will increase
The extended mine life will result in simultaneous operation of the West 45 and Far West mines from the end of 2018, increasing mill throughput.
The West 45 resource estimate has also been updated and is 600,000 tonnes at 15.4% zinc equivalent, taking Thalanga resources to 2.3 million tonnes at 15.5%.
Only ASX-listed pure zinc player
Red River is the only pure play zinc producer on the ASX, is free of debt and fully funded.
The company has a market capitalisation of A$140.1 million and has cash in hand of A$15.6 million.
Mel Palancian, managing director, said: “Increasing ore reserves at West 45 combined with the recently announced maiden ore reserve at Far West is an outstanding result for the future of Red River.
“There is also the potential for further mine life extensions at depth and along strike.
“We are committed to growing resources and reserves at Thalanga and this confirms that our strategy is delivering results and mine life.
“The West 45 mine life will now extend to at least 2019 allowing the simultaneous operation of West 45 and the Far West mines in 2019, increasing mill throughput for this period.
“With exploration across our landholding in the Mt Windsor Belt in Queensland continuing in tandem to our mining operations, we hope to make new discoveries that can add further life to Thalanga.”
West 45 is the first deposit to be mined by Red River at Thalanga as part of the restart of operations at the project.
Underground mining commenced at West 45 in April 2017, with zinc concentrate production restarting ahead of schedule at Thalanga in September 2017.
An optimised life of mine plan, incorporating extended mine life and increased mill throughput, is due for release early in the first quarter of 2018.
Production at Far West is expected by the end of 2018 and planning is underway for the Waterloo mine.
Preliminary mine design and scheduling has been completed for what will become the third mine at the Thalanga operations.
Red River controls 420 square kilometres of land within a highly productive and prospective volcanic-hosted massive sulphide district, 65 kilometres southwest of Charters Towers.