Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed Ora Banda Mining has approved the Sand King Underground mine at its Davyhurst Gold Project in Western Australia.

This move aligns with the company’s strategic goal of operating multiple high-grade mines and achieve mid-tier status by 30 June 2025.

The Sand King mine, which will be the second development for the company in under two years, is projected to reach steady production of approximately 60,000oz per annum by the June 2025 quarter.

Contractors have been engaged, and long-lead items secured, with the portal’s construction set to commence in the September 2024 quarter.

The estimated cost of the Sand King development is $39m (A$57.53m), which will be financed through the cash flow from Ora Banda’s existing Riverina Underground mine and current cash reserves.

The combined output from both mines is expected to transform the company’s production profile, targeting 150,000oz per annum in fiscal year 2026 (FY26) and aiming to lower the all-in sustaining cost (AISC) to below A$1,890/oz.

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The company’s ambitious growth strategy, dubbed ‘DRIVE to 150’, represents a pivotal shift from its status as a single mine producer.

Ora Banda has allocated around A$25m for spending in FY25 and plans to invest up to A$40m in exploration during FY26.

These investments will be complemented by additional funds to enhance the infrastructure and processing capabilities at Davyhurst.

Ora Banda managing director Luke Creagh said: “This is a very exciting time for the company as the Ora Banda team has achieved a significant amount in a short period, finding two underground mines in less than two years since changing strategies – a success rate which also indicates the significant prospectivity of the belt.

“The Riverina Underground continues to ramp up well, and with the support of Sand King Underground is expected to deliver 40% year-on year growth and 34% reduction in AISC/oz over the same period.

“Our DRIVE to 150 plan to target 150,000oz in FY26 firmly places us on the pathway to becoming a mid-tier gold producer, and the most exciting part is that we are only just getting started on unlocking this highly prospective and underexplored tenement package.”