Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

AngloGold Ashanti and its partner at the Tropicana mine in Australia have come up with an A$18m ($13.5m) plan to increase output and extend the life of the asset by at least seven years
to 2027.

Part of the plan at the opencast operation in Western Australia is for AngloGold, the 70% owner of Tropicana, and Independence Group, which owns the balance, to use the depleted Tropicana pit as a dump for waste rock coming from newer pits nearby, cutting down on waste haulage costs.

“This project is in line with our approach of developing cost-effective brownfield projects with attractive payback periods that extend life and improve margins,” said Michael Erickson, AngloGold Ashanti senior vice-president Australia.

The plan, which entails mining the Havana South pit and expanding the Boston Shaker pit, will also entail the installation of a new ball mill to crush increased ore tonnages and improve gold recoveries by 3% to 92%.

The flow of ore will increase to a maximum of 107-million tonnes a year from 2019 compared with the 90-million tonnes the mine now generates.

The Tropicana mine will focus on delivering high-grade ore to the processing plant and stockpiling the lower-grade material. The mine is expect to produce up to 492,000oz in 2018 before rising to a maximum of 548,000oz in 2019.

The partners will during 2018 investigate the viability of moving Boston Shakers to an underground operation, potentially extending the life at the mining complex beyond the 2027 time frame.

seccombea@bdfm.co.za

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