07/01/2015 - 14:26

Hanking Gold plans 100,000oz production

07/01/2015 - 14:26

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Western Australia’s newest gold producer, Hanking Gold Mining, expects to lift production to 100,000 ounces in 2015 after approving development of a new underground mine in partnership with local company Pit N Portal Group.

Pit N Portal will use CAT underground trucks at the new mine.

Western Australia’s newest gold producer, Hanking Gold Mining, expects to lift production to 100,000 ounces in 2015 after approving development of a new underground mine in partnership with local company Pit N Portal Group.

Chinese-owned Hanking commenced open-pit mining at its Southern Cross project in August last year, 16 months after buying the mothballed operation from St Barbara.

Its parent company China Hanking Holdings announced to the Hong Kong stock exchange on December 22 that it would proceed with development of the nearby Nevoria East underground project, “following the increase of its gold resources and smooth progress of open-pit mining”.

Hanking said the underground mine was expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of ore for 30,000 ounces of gold in 2015.

Combined with open-pit production, Hanking estimated its total production this year would be 100,000 ounces.

Hanking and Pit N Portal have established an 80:20 joint venture to develop and operate the underground mine, which will be developed as a decline from the base of the old Nevoria open-pit.

Maddington-based Pit N Portal will provide the mining equipment, conduct the underground mining and provide up to $7 million in project finance towards the mine development.

Pit N Portal director Steve Versteegen told Business News the Hanking alliance “is a welcome addition to the company’s versatile work book and allows us to further demonstrate our ability to deliver a wide range of services to the underground mining sector”.

Hanking will provide surface management including logistics and gold ore processing.

The company’s president and chief executive Qui Yumin said the partnership would allow Hanking to better utilise its infrastructure, especially its ore processing capacity, achieve economies of scale, and reduce operating costs and production risks.

Hanking said refurbishment of its Marvel Loch processing plant, by contractor Como Engineers, is almost complete.

The plant has annual ore processing capacity of 2.4 million tonnes.

Hanking has already engaged Watpac Civil & Mining as its open-pit mining contractor and Hampton Transport to haul the ore 30 kilometres to the processing plant.

It previously announced it had budgeted to spend $30 million on its phase 1 development of the Southern Cross project, mainly for stripping and process plant restoration.

The phase 1 project envisaged successive development of four open pits, starting with Cornishman followed by Nevoria, Aqurious and Frasers South.

Hanking said it has 2.83 million ounces of gold resources across the Southern Cross project, including 67,000 ounces of gold reserves at Nevoria East.

It paid $22.5 million to acquire the Southern Cross operations from St Barbara, in April 2013.

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