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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Gold: Latest News: March 29th 2011

 
 

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:: Board Approves Salt Creek Process Facility Expansion

Integra Mining Limited is pleased to report that the Board has approved a 25% expansion of the Salt Creek process facility to 1 million tonnes per annum with target production of 100,000 ounces per year. Further production increases to a peak of 140,000 ounces and steady state production of 120,000 ounces per year are subject to the introduction of high-grade underground production from the Maxwells, Santa and Cock-eyed Bob deposits. Trial mining of the Cock-eyed Bob gold deposit to demonstrate the viability of underground production is planned to commence later this year.

The process facility upgrade is subject to the consent of the Randalls Gold Project financiers as a material change to the project. The capital cost of the upgrade is estimated at $12 million and includes:

  • Addition of a secondary 900kW ball mill (the primary ball mill is 1.6MW) as a coarse overflow re-grind mill.
  • Tripling the size of the gravity circuit with 2 x 30 inch Knelson concentrators - this provides extra capacity to capture coarse "gravity" gold, added flexibility to operate either a single unit while the other is being serviced or both units together. It is expected that more continuous operation of at least one concentrator will improve gold recoveries by reducing the coarse gold load reporting to the leach circuit.
  • Addition of a second leach tank - this is expecteed to increase leach residence time from approximately 5.5 hours to over 18 hours and provides the leach capacity to treat ores requiring a longer leach time. The increased leach capacity will improve gold recoveries at higher throughputs and provide flexibility to treat different ore types.
  • New dual blade agitators with more powerful motor drives and hollow shafts for additional oxygen sparging to improve agitation and leach efficiency.
  • Automated reagent dosing and containment facilities.
  • An oxygen generation plant to increase leach kinetics.

The process plant upgrade provides for both an expansion of through-put capacity to 1 million tonnes per year as well as increased gold recovery efficiencies and enhanced flexibility to treat a range of gold bearing ores with different leach characteristics.

Board approval for the Salt Creek process facility upgrade coincides with the current Salt Creek ore stockpile surpassing 1 million tonnes at an estimated grade of 1.54 g/t for some 50,000 contained ounces of gold for which the cost of mining has been paid. If processed, the stockpile represents estimated proceeds of some $40 million net of processing costs.

With an expectation that the Majestic discovery with a recently announced Inferred Mineral Resource of some 260,000 ounces at a grade of 2.1 g/t gold (see ASX announcement 25 January 2011) will be partially converted to Ore Reserves mid-year and make a meaningful contribution to the volume of open pit material available to the operation, the process plant capacity increase allows Integra to better realise the value of both the current ore stockpile and expected future sources of process facility feed.

The operation appears to have been stabilised with mining now on-schedule and with an ample supply of high-grade material available to the process facility. Crushing and milling are performing to feasibility study specification and metallurgical recoveries are moving towards the 95% target with some further refinements to the plant being implemented.

 

 

   

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