Aphrodite Gold plans to build, commission and operate the first new ore processing plant in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia for the past 20 years with a new oxide and refractory gold processing plant on the site of its Aphrodite Gold Project.
The plant is initially being designed to annually process up to 1 million tonnes of ore, with the ability to add capacity to 1.5 million tonnes. Additional ore will be sought from neighbouring gold resources and first production is expected in 2015.
The Aphrodite deposit will be the cornerstone for initial production with an initial annual rate of 30,000 ounces. It will start with oxide material increasing to more than 100,000 ounces annually within four years. Expansion and custom treatment may increase these projections with higher-grade underground refractory ores and further ore sourcing.
The plant plans include a pressure oxidation circuit that would be a first for the region that will enable treatment of refractory ore. This ore type is common in the region. Recoveries based on tests on Aphrodite material are projected at around 95% for oxide ore and 90% for refractory ore.
Aphrodite Gold has begun negotiations with a number of more advanced regional gold companies for offtake agreements or to sell their ore to the company. This would substantially increase throughput to improve project economics and to extend the life of project for the long term.
“The history of the Eastern Goldfields bodes well for building a much-needed new refractory ore processing plant. Such development will lift the prospects of regional miners and explorers and be a bonus for the city of Kalgoorlie,” says Aphrodite chairman Peter Buttigieg.
The plant is being designed by Tetra Tech and consultants METS. Tetra Tech is one of the world’s largest engineering companies with more than 350 offices and 14,000 staff worldwide. METS (Mineral Engineering Technical Services) is a leading Australian-owned consultant to the global mining industry.