02/08/2017 - 13:58

Saracen mulls Thunderbox underground mine

02/08/2017 - 13:58

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Saracen Mineral Holdings has flagged a $71 million investment in its Thunderbox operation near Leinster to develop an underground mine, after achieving record total ore reserves.

Saracen mulls Thunderbox underground mine
Saracen's Thunderbox open-cut mine near Leinster.

Saracen Mineral Holdings has flagged a $71 million investment in its Thunderbox operation near Leinster to develop an underground mine, after achieving record total ore reserves.

Saracen told the market today that a pre-feasibility study on the existing mine showed a multi-year underground operation at a life-of-mine all-in sustaining cost of $1,156 an ounce, with a maiden ore reserve of 518,000oz.

A final investment decision won’t be made until the 2020 financial year, while steady state production has been earmarked for FY21.

“At Thunderbox we have delivered a maiden reserve for what is shaping up to be one of Australia’s larger and more productive underground mines,” Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said.

“The results show that last year’s record exploration budget was money well spent, supporting the company’s strategy to grow production and mine life at its existing assets.”

Saracen also announced today record total ore reserves of 2.1 million ounces as of June 30, up 40 per cent from a year ago, with mineral resources also at a record 9 million ounces, up 7 per cent.

Mr Finlayson said the results showed Saracen could support its expanded production rate of 300,000oz/annum for years to come.

Shares in Saracen were unchanged at $1.35 each ahead of the close of trade.

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