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Australian exploration company Kingsrose Mining is set to suspend underground operations at its Talang Santo mine in Indonesia later this month after rendering it uneconomic.

The company has attributed the decision to the fact that production at the project has been adversely affected by the inflow of groundwater into the mine and poor ground conditions on a continuous basis.

The delays in developing the mine to access the lower levels has led to a reduction in mineable areas.

In an effort to evaluate options to re-engineer the current underground mine, the company has commenced a scoping study.

Kingsrose Mining said in a statement: “This would involve modern mechanised underground mining methods, which would result in far greater rates of production and lower costs. The initial results of the study are encouraging and the study is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

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“Test work is underway to establish if the Talang Santo ore body is amenable to this technology.”

“In addition, the company has commenced a study into the suitability of an ore sorter for the Talang Santo Mine. Test work is underway to establish if the Talang Santo ore body is amenable to this technology.”

The ore sorter is said to have the capability to increase the already-high grades from the mine, as well as reduce dilution from any future mining operations.

Simultaneously, the company is in the process of completing a feasibility study on an open pit operation at the mine, which is said to contain high-grade portion of the resource in the upper levels.

The company plans to fast-track the open pit studies for the mine and intends to obtain the requisite regulatory approvals from the Indonesian Mines Department.

The approvals are expected to be granted during the September 2018 quarter.