WPG Resources has started transporting ore in trucks from Tarcoola gold mine in South Australia to Challenger processing plant.
The initial haulage rate is 500t a day, which may be increased later this year.
WPG Resources upgraded the haul road and completed traffic management plan in collaboration with a mining and ore haulage contractor.
The first haulage was postponed due to unseasonal heavy rains and delays in securing additional approvals unrelated to mining operations.
WPG Resources executive chairman Bob Duffin said: “We are pleased with the timely and efficient manner with which Tarcoola has progressed since the board took the decision to mine in November last year.
“Delivery of Tarcoola ore to Challenger comes at exactly the right time, replacing the depleted lowgrade surface stockpile material. We anticipate an increase in both grade and ounces produced with ore from Tarcoola being processed along with the Challenger underground ore currently being mined.
“We are now starting to see the synergies between Challenger and Tarcoola, which we identified early on.”
The Challenger treatment plant also increased its throughput rates.
According to current indications, its capacity can be increased to 700,000tpa from the current 600,000tpa without loss of gold recovery and further capital expenditure.
The processing plant is also examining its potential and feasibility to increase its capability to 800,000tpa.
WPG expects to become a mid-tier gold producer with the successful development of Tarcoola, as well as the Challenger mine.
Image: Trucking of ore from Tarcoola mine to Challenger facility. Photo: courtesy of WPG Resources.