Excelsior Gold has awarded the open pit mining contract at the Western Australia's Kalgoorlie North Gold project to Hampton Transport Services.
Open pit mining at the project is expected to start on 16 November with initial tonnes from the astlereagh and Jackorite open pits.
Together with Big Blow South and the Zoroastrian Central open pit, these two pits are set to provide 1.36 million tonnes of ore grading 2.00g/t Au for treatment at the Paddington Mill starting from December until mid-2018.
Before scheduling commencement of mining in 2018, Excelsior Gold plans to review contract extensions to cover the mining of other deposits, such as the large Bulletin South open pit.
In October, the company signed an ore treatment agreement with Norton Gold Fields, as part of which the latter will process a minimum of 500,000t and up to 650,000t a year of ore from the Kalgoorlie North Gold Project for five years.
Excelsior Gold will retain the option to extend the agreement annually for another five years.
The initial base case mining plan of Excelsior Gold has open pit, as well as underground mining operations that can supply ore feed to the mill for a period of at least seven years.
Clearing of the 20km haul road connecting Excelsior Gold's open pit deposits to the Paddington Mill is underway following the award of the construction contract to McAleese Resource in October.
The clearance will facilitate mobilisation of Hampton's mining fleet from Kalgoorlie.
The Kalgoorlie North Gold project covers 25km of strike over the Bardoc Tectonic Zone, which comprises a deformed Archaean succession of mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks, felsic volcano-sedimentary rocks, felsic-intermediate porphyry intrusions and mafic-ultramafic intrusions.
Image: Kalgoorlie North Haul Road Construction Towards Paddington Mill. Photo: courtesy of Excelsior Gold.