Red 5 ramps up gold mine

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Josh Chiat

West Aus­tralian gold miner Red 5 is work­ing to scale up the King of the Hills gold mine near Leonora, com­mit­ting to a ma­jor 30,000m drill pro­gram in a bid to prove up its po­ten­tial for bulk un­der­ground min­ing.

The op­er­a­tion was mined on a large scale through the 1990s and early 2000s, when it pro­duced 1.6 mil­lion ounces from the old Tar­moola open pit, orig­i­nally opened in 1990 by Mount Edon Gold Mines.

Nar­row-vein un­der­ground min­ing has been the pri­or­ity at King of the Hills more re­cently, where St Bar­bara and Sara­cen have op­er­ated it as a small sweet­ener to ad­ja­cent op­er­a­tions.

Red 5 has op­er­ated King of the Hills, which has a two-year mine life with an 88,000oz re­serve, since Jan­uary as a satel­lite op­er­a­tion for its Dar­lot gold mine and pro­cess­ing plant.

King of the Hills gen­er­ated al­most 9500oz last quar­ter, and Red 5 be­lieves a re­think of the mine’s ge­ol­ogy and a de­ci­sion to turn its drill rigs around 90 de­grees have been the key to hopes it will be­come a larger-scale op­er­a­tion.

A bulk stop­ing trial has be­gun at the Le­mon­wood zone, while the eight-month long re­source ex­ten­sion drilling cam­paign has been ini­ti­ated af­ter wide in­ter­sec­tions in­clud­ing 330m at 1.7g per tonne and 234m at 2g/t were struck in re­cent ex­plo­ration holes. Red 5 man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mark Wil­liams was con­fi­dent the drilling would add both tonnes and grade to the mine’s re­sources.

The com­pany be­lieves a gran­ite in­tru­sion host­ing the min­er­al­i­sa­tion con­tin­ues more than 500m be­low-sur­face, with ex­ist­ing mine work­ings only ex­tend­ing to 380m be­low-sur­face. Mr Wil­liams said the cam­paign would take up most of Red 5’s at­ten­tion on the ex­plo­ration front un­til mid-2019.

“From our point of view we’ve turned the drill around 90 de­grees and that’s helped us to un­der­stand much bet­ter th­ese veins and stock­works and there­fore that’s given us a much bet­ter line of sight to be able to eval­u­ate the po­ten­tial for bulk op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

“That’s what this drill cam­paign is re­ally about and even to­day, it’s been able to add tonnes and grade and ex­tend the mine life, which we’re de­lighted about.” Red 5 shares were up 6.6 per cent, or 0.4¢, to 6.5¢ at the close last night.

Pic­ture: Red 5

Red 5 is com­mit­ting to its King of the Hills gold mine near Leonora.

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