Evolution Mining has approved the underground development of the Cowal mine in New South Wales, Australia.

The Cowal gold operation is located around 38km north-east of West Wyalong.

The Cowal underground mine is expected to support the firm’s aim to boost the site’s gold production to 350,000oz of low-cost gold a year and extend its operational life beyond 17 years.

Evolution executive chairman Jake Klein said: “Cowal is undoubtedly a world-class asset and a key asset in the Evolution portfolio.”

Evolution estimates the capital required to reach commercial production at the Cowal mine to be $282.9m (A$380m). This is to be invested during the 2022 and 2023 financial years.

This includes $178.7m (A$240m) for investment in surface infrastructure, paste plant, process plant modifications and accommodation village, and $104.2m (A$140m) in initial mine development costs.

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Between 2022 and 2024, the underground mine is expected to produce between 0.04Mt and 1.1Mt of ore.

The production is planned to be increased to between 1.6Mt and 1.9Mt during its peak operation, which is anticipated between 2025 and 2031.

Moreover, the firm approved a clear and defined pathway to boost gold production at the Red Lake project in Canada to 350,000oz per annum.

Klein said: “The Board has also approved a plan that accelerates the restoration of Red Lake to a premier Canadian gold mine producing low-cost gold in excess of 350,000oz per year. This will also deliver significant benefits for all stakeholders of the Red Lake asset.

“Both operations demonstrate the outstanding organic growth opportunities within Evolution’s portfolio that will grow production by 35% to over 900,000oz of low-cost gold over the next three years.”