Milling ramps up at NQ gold site
General manager Dale Oram said the North Queensland gold operation had recruited an extra eight processing operators and two maintenance personnel from Charters Towers and Townsville.
The site recently started processing development ore from the new Steph orebody, intersected as part of the Lynne decline project.
The project will provide underground access to a host of known gold deposits beyond the Vera-Nancy system in a transition plan for the operation that has been dubbed Pajingo 2.0.
The plant at Pajingo has been campaign milling over the last couple of years rather than running continually.
Mr Oram said the operation had been ‘mine constrained’, with ore processing being reduced to a shortened operating roster of around 17 to 20 days per month.
‘With scheduled ore delivery from the mine increasing over the next few months, including the commencement of development and mining of the Steph ore body, the processing plant was put back into 24 hours a day, seven days a week operation on June 2,” he said.
“With the return to full-time milling, recruitment and training of operators and some maintenance staff was necessary, with the processing team building its operational resources to manage the increased workload.
“Credit to the processing and HR teams for getting everything ready and in place and to the maintenance team for completing a scheduled 11-day maintenance shut prior to turning the plant on for what is now forecast to be a long-term, full-time milling period.”
Mr Oram said monthly throughput tonnages were forecast to increase from the previous campaign operations of around 30,000 tonnes per month to around 62,000 tonnes per month on the now-continuous operational roster.
“The operational strategy will be to keep the mill full so that the only interruption to processing will be due to scheduled maintenance operations,” he said.
“We now have pressure on the mine to deliver more ore, pass the pressure on to the processing plant to operate on a continuous basis, and provide the opportunity to build ore stockpiles to optimise a feed blend for grade, recovery and throughput.”
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