Darlot Gold Mine
The Darlot Gold Mine is located ~900km north-east of Perth in the highly-endowed Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. The mine is operated through Red 5’s 100%-owned subsidiary company, Darlot Mining Company Pty Ltd.
The mine has a long production history, celebrating its 30th anniversary of continuous gold production in November 2018, with a total output of 17.8 million tonnes grading 4.8g/t Au for 2.8 million ounces of contained gold since mining commenced in November 1988.
The operation has been previously owned and operated by Sundowner Minerals NL, Forsayth NL, Plutonic Resources Ltd, Homestake Mining Company, Barrick Gold Corporation and, before its acquisition by Red 5 in October 2017, by Gold Fields Limited.
Despite its significant historical output, Darlot continues to deliver new targets, including the high-grade Oval West deposit, which was discovered by Red 5 in February 2018.
Ore from Darlot is processed at the 0.83Mtpa Carbon-in-Pulp (CIP) and Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) gold processing plant located on-site, which is currently operating at a throughput of 1.0Mtpa.
The Darlot Processing Plant currently receives ~40%-50% of its mill feed from the Great Western satellite deposit, complementing high-grade ore from the Darlot undergound mine.
Red 5 has completed an updated Mineral Resource estimate for the Great Western satellite deposit comprising 870,000 tonnes grading 2.5g/t gold for 70,300oz of contained gold.
The initial open pit mining operation at Great Western will be underpinned by a maiden Open Pit Ore Reserve of 437,500 tonnes grading 2.5g/t Au for 35,424oz of contained gold. The open pit is expected to be completed over ~13 months, with potential to then access the underground orebody via a portal at the base of the pit.
In 2022, Red 5 plans to transition the Darlot underground mine into an additional medium-term, high-grade feed source for the new King of the Hills (“KOTH”) processing plant, enabling a step-change in Darlot’s production cost. The commencement of processing operations at KOTH in the June Quarter 2022 will provide a more cost-effective processing alternative for Darlot ore, repositioning Darlot as a high-grade satellite ore source for KOTH.
The Darlot ore will be added to the 4Mtpa of ore proposed to be mined and processed from the KOTH open pit and underground mines. A Plant Capacity Study completed by Mintrex has confirmed that the KOTH processing plant can process up to 4.7Mtpa of ore without additional capital expenditure.
Red 5 is also committed to building its Reserve base at Darlot and within the immediate surrounds. Reserve growth strategies include:
- Fully exploiting the current significant endowment (14 October 2020)
- Reserve 2.7Mt @ 2.8g/t Au for 239,000 ounces of contained gold (complemented by trucked ore from King of the Hills and Great Western)
- Resource 11.8Mt @ 3.4g/t Au for 1.3Moz of contained gold
- Optimising existing assets
- In FY22, Darlot will undertake an initial 12-month phase of underground mine development to establish new mining areas and reduce the reliance on remnant stopes
- Extension of existing Resources in the Darlot underground
- Step-out underground exploration using HiSeis 3D seismic data
- Exploration for open pit deposits within the Darlot and Ockerburry Hill tenements
- Regional bolt-on acquisitions
- In April 2020, Red 5 acquired the Great Western gold deposit, which is approximately 55km’s south of the Darlot Processing Plant. Great Western is scheduled to commence production in January 2021.
- In May 2020, Red 5 acquired the nearby Cables and Mission gold deposits (JORC 2004 Resources of 185koz).
- In April 2020, Red 5 acquired the highly prospective Emperor and King of the West tenements, both of which have historical workings that have yielded high gold grades.
In November 2020, Red 5 signed a Farm-in Joint Venture Agreement with Ardea Resources Ltd (ASX: ARL) to earn up to an 80% interest in the Mt Zephyr and Darlot East Gold Projects, both located in close proximity to Darlot.
- Red 5 continues to evaluate other regional opportunities
For further information on Red 5’s operating strategy at the Darlot Gold Mine, refer to the Company’s recent ASX announcements and investor presentations.
See our latest Annual Report for JORC 2012 Resource and Reserve tables.