The start of work by local mining contractor Hampton Transport Services Pty Ltd follows approval by Horizon’s board of the stage-one development.
Site establishment and mobilisation of mining fleet are complete with open cut mining underway at the Regal East open cut using conventional truck and shovel operations.
First ore this month
First ore is expected this month and first ore delivery to the mill in June with the Regal West and Crown Jewel pits to be developed in parallel to enable optimal cycling of mining and drill and blast activities.
Horizon managing director Jon Price said: “The commencement of mining at Boorara is a significant milestone for the company enabling gold production and cash generation in 2020 at a time of record-high Australian dollar gold prices.
“We welcome our local mining partners Hamptons and the Lakewood processing team who have been extremely proactive in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring strict safety and health guidelines are observed across the operation.”
Horizon’s gold project locations, regional geology and surrounding infrastructure.
Shares were more than 15% higher in early trade to 9.8 cents.
After fully drawing the $4 million working capital facility and with all necessary approvals in place, the company is fully funded for the stage-one development.
Project development comes after completion of a positive feasibility study.
A summary of the feasibility study results for the project.
Price added: “We are all now fully focused on safe and efficient mining operations at Boorara, generating cash to self-fund the resource growth drilling program and the completion of the larger-scale and longer-term production profile as part of the consolidated feasibility study.”
Stage-one comprises free-milling oxide and transitional material with grade control drilling completed on 4 X 10 metres in the north and 5 X 10 metres in the central areas.
Following removal of around 6 metres of overburden in some areas of the Regal East pit, ore mining will begin on a 2.5-metre flitch height to minimise dilution and maximise ore recovery.
Ore and waste mining will be conducted on day shift only under the control of in pit mining geologists with the main ore zone enabling visual geological control in addition to grade control drilling flitch plans and ore markups.
Boorara stage-one site layout.
Hampton Transport’s open pit mining and haulage contract covers:
- Total mining volume of 520,000 BCM over a six-month mine life;
- Ore mining of 159,000 tonnes at a fully diluted grade of 1.86 g/t gold; and
- Ore haulage on existing roads to the third-party processing plant.
All staff will be resident in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and will observe strict safety and COVID-19 operational guidelines to minimise and reduce risk to employees, their families and the local community.
Ore treatment agreement
Ore will be hauled on existing roads to Golden Mile Milling’s nearby Lakewood processing plant with an agreement in place for treatment of the ore mined.
The first milling campaign is scheduled for July 2020 and treatment will be completed on a monthly campaign basis under Horizon supervision.
Gold production guidance is 8,500-9,000 ounces at an average 91.5% metallurgical gold recovery and an all-in-cost using toll milling of $1,640–$1,690 per ounce.
At the current A$2,600/ounce gold price, Boorara Stage 1 generates A$7.1 million in free cash flow within financial year 2021.