Classic Minerals has taken a key step in moving its Kat Gap gold project in Western Australia to full production by securing approvals for trial mining of the deposit. The trial operation will enable the company to fine-tune the processing plant and generate metallurgical, engineering and geological information to optimise production and improve project economics ahead of full-scale mining.
Classic Minerals has secured approval to conduct trial mining at Kat Gap in Western Australia in another key step toward its goal of building a significant production platform in the state’s Forrestania district. The trial operation will allow the company to fine-tune its new processing plant in anticipation of full-scale mining, whilst also providing metallurgical, engineering and geological information to optimise the proposed operation and improve project economics.
The 100 per cent-owned Kat Gap, about 170 kilometres south of Southern Cross, hosts an inferred resource of 975,722 tonnes with an average grade of 2.96 grams per tonne gold for 92,856 ounces of contained gold.
In April, Classic was granted a mining lease for Kat Gap by WA’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, or “DMIRS”. It is waiting for two final environmental approvals to move into full development mode.
The trial bulk sample extraction will aid planning for full-scale mining.
The company expects to process between 3,000 tonnes and 5,000t of ore grading at 4-6 grams per tonne gold to produce between 350 and 1,000 ounces as part of the trial.
Classic has recently assembled, tested and commissioned its Gekko processing plant which has a current ore throughput capacity of 30 tonnes per hour that is scalable to 250tph.
The trial operation provides an opportunity to fine tune the processing plant using Kat Gap ore before the start of full-scale operations.
A trial pit will also allow Classic to evaluate structural data from the walls and floor of the pit to improve operational understanding.
The company says it will be better placed to develop processes to minimise strip ratios and improve safety, whilst also developing a more precise understanding of dilution and ore loss parameters.
It says grade distribution can also be assessed more accurately by comparing results from trial mining with existing modelling of grade variation, whilst structural measurements of exposed gold mineralisation will also now be possible.
The trial operation may also help to grow the existing resources at Kat Gap by identifying the presence and orientation of gold lodes that currently are not recognised.
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