Tropicana has delivered a 72 per cent increase in ore reserves since the project was approved in November 2010. Image: AngloGold Ashanti.
BY CAMERON DRUMMOND
ANGLOGOLD Ashanti and Independence Group have locked in $46 million for Phase One of its Long Island strategy at the Tropicana gold mine, 330km northeast of Kalgoorlie, WA.
The development will see 2.1 million ounces (moz) added to the Tropicana business plan, extending the mine life until 2027.
Tropicana will also have a 6 megawatt ball mill installed to increase production and gold recovery rates by 3 per cent to 92 per cent.
The JV partners said the Long Island strategy was driven by developing a more cost-effective way to mine waste.
It involves using a strip-mining approach that minimises waste haulage distances by using in-pit backfill, rather than trucking the material long distances to surface waste dumps.
“This project is in line with our approach of developing cost-effective brownfield projects with attractive payback periods that extend life and improve margins,” AngloGold Ashanti Australia senior vice president Michael Erickson said.
“The project validates the innovative ideas developed by our site team and technical specialists, and also gives us an excellent base from which we can investigate adding additional value through underground mining opportunities and regional exploration.”
AngoGold stated that production over Tropicana’s remaining life of mine was now forecast to be about 4moz.
This did not include potential underground production from the Boston Shaker ore body, where a pre-feasibility study would be undertaken sometime in 2018.