AURELIA Metals achieved record quarterly production of 14,184 ounces of gold during the three months ending March 31 at the Hera Gold-Base Metals Project in the Central West of New South Wales. In addition, the company finalised a funding and settlement agreement with Glencore to continue the Hera operations.
Underground drilling at Aurelia Metals’ Hera project in New South Wales.
Aurelia achieved consistent improvement in gold recoveries to 81.2% during the quarter and strong base metal recoveries of 92.4% for zinc and 87.6% for lead.
There was strong positive reconciliation of gold grades, which ran at an average of 166% of the predicted mine grades. Lead and zinc reconciliations were variable, running at 101% and 72% of predicted mine grades. The reconciliations continue to highlight the grade variability of the deposit and the shortcomings of the current resource block model.
A total of 81,087 tonnes of ore was mined during the quarter at an average grade of 6.6 grams/tonne (g/t) gold, 2.15% lead and 1.65% zinc.
Also during the March quarter the company recommenced underground mine development and competed a substantial underground drilling program. There was 549 metres of lateral underground development, including the recommencement of decline development to access the Far West Lens.
A 41-hole stope delineation drilling program has been conducted focusing on the lower levels of Main North Lens and Main South Leans. It also targeted parts of the Hays South Lens and the upper sections of the Far West Lens. Significant results included 8 metres @ 15.7 g/t gold, 32 g/t silver, 0.48% copper, 5.52% lead and 1.96% zinc; 5.5 metres @ 18.9 g/t gold, 14 g/t silver, 2.32% lead and 4.2% zinc; 10 metres @ 16.3 g/t gold, 26 g/t silver, 0.15% copper, 3.82% lead and 0.76% zinc; 7.1 metres @ 2.0 g/t gold, 64 g/t silver, 0.3% copper, 10.4% lead and 21.4% zinc; and 7 metres @ 8.9 g/t gold, 13 g/t silver, 2.47% lead and 4.38% zinc.
A total of 83,522 tonnes of ore was processed during the quarter grading 6.51 g/t gold, 2.22% lead and 1.8% zinc. Plant utilisation improved to a record 90%, with average processing rates improving through the quarter to 42 tonnes per hour.
The gravity circuit upgrade project was advanced in the quarter with completion and commissioning due during the June quarter. This is expected to result in a meaningful increase in gravity gold recovery as well as total gold recovery.