FULL STEAM AHEAD
PRODUCTION from Dacian Gold’s flagship $ 197 million Mt Morgans project near Laverton, WA is expected to start this month, less than three years after the Dacian board approved its development.
The fast- tracked gold project has been Dacian’s sole focus since its $ 20m initial public offering ( IPO) onto the ASX in 2012.
At that time, Mt Morgans had a resource base of 840,000 ounces ( oz) of gold.
In the years that followed, exploration work uncovered a further two, 1 million- plus ounce ( moz) gold deposits at Westralia and Jupiter.
Mt Morgans now has a total mineral resource base of 3.3moz to produce 200,000oz a year across an initial eight- year mine life.
The project’s estimated all- in sustaining costs ( AISC) of $ 1039/ oz includes two new underground mines ( Beresford and Allanson) beneath the historically mined Westralia pit, which are expected to deliver 492,000oz at a low AISC of $ 837/ oz over an initial four year mine life.
The large open pit at Jupiter contains 643,000oz at an expected AISC average of $ 1193/ oz over an eight year period.
Dacian has enjoyed lower than expected infrastructure costs, reduced from $ 172m to $ 149m.
That infrastructure includes a new 2.5 million tonne per annum ( mtpa) CIL
There’s a lot to like about the rapid development of Dacian Gold’s Mt Morgans gold project. The miner has set a vigorous pace on the road to production, already coming in under its initial project cost by $23 million.
treatment plant and tailings storage facility; 400 person accommodation village, mine service facilities at Westralia and other related mine infrastructure.
Dacian executive chairman Rohan Williams said the development and construction of Mt Morgans was proceeding exactly to plan.
“Thanks to the outstanding work by our staff and contractors, Dacian has achieved what we said we would do,” Mr Williams said.
“We remain on time and on budget, which means the project is being de- risked by the day and we are getting closer to production and cash- flow by the day.
“It’s an exciting time for the company as we continue our transformation from developer to gold producer.” To help bring down the Mt Morgans AISC, Dacian has been concentrating on proving up further resources at Westralia, as Beresford and Allanson are expected to be two of Australia’s lowest cost- per- ounce deposits.
Dacian said it would be prioritising the deposits as early production and expansion sources to maximise the cash- margin from the early stage mining at Mt Morgans.
“It remains a core focus for Dacian to extend the Westralia mine area ore reserve life beyond 2021, and the 3.5mt at 6.5 grams per tonne ( g/ t) for 715,000oz of inferred mineral resource that lies directly along strike and beneath provides the company with the potential to extend the mine life at both Beresford and Allanson,” the company stated.
“This exciting discovery comes on the eve of Dacian Gold’s transformation into Australia’s next significant mid-tier gold producer.” Exploration and Expansion
Mt Morgans lies in the eastern edge of the Yilgarn Craton.