Commissioning at Vertex’s Hill End plant nearly complete, maiden gold bars imminent
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Ongoing start-up operations at the Reward processing plant, including refurbishing and commissioning, are nearing completion as Vertex Minerals looks to start the drive underground next year.
The Reward gold mine, part of the wider Hill End gold project near Orange in the New South Wales Lachlan Fold belt, currently has a resource of 419,000t grading 16.72g/t, or 225,200oz of contained gold, with a higher confidence Indicated Resource of 141,000t at 15.54g/t, or 70,500oz of contained gold.
That’s extremely high-grade by modern standards.
Vertex Minerals (ASX:VTX) believes it is well placed for a simple start-up, with the existing gravity processing plant being located adjacent to the underground mine access point.
The refurbishment of the Reward processing plant is nearing completion, with full permits including a tailings dam permit locked in, which has the capacity to allow immediate commencement of operations.
Currently, commissioning is focused on attaining the optimal water balance through each step of the concentration process to maximise the gold recovery while achieving high material throughput and plant availability.
Once sufficient concentrate has been produced, the gold concentrates will be refined on site and smelted to a doré bar.
VTX says the doré produced will then be sent to the ABC Refinery in Sydney, which has signed an agreement with Vertex following an extensive due diligence period.
This agreement with ABC Refinery provides Vertex with an effective downstream opportunity close to its mine operations at Hill End and marks a key step forward in Vertex’s long-term strategy.
In preparation for the ramp-up of operations, the company has acquired a new Wilfley gold table to manage the pending increase in capacity requirements.
A Caterpillar excavator with 25-tonne capacity has also been delivered on-site last month to manage stockpile movements.
VTX executive chairman Roger Jackson says the staged commencement of processing stockpiles at the processing plant is strategic.
“It allows us to upgrade the plant, build critical infrastructure, and develop safety operating and environmental systems while we undertake a Pre-Feasibility Study on the high-grade Reward underground mine,” he said.
“The plant and infrastructure that has been acquired or refurbished in this exercise will be utilised in the expanded capacity plant, which will be key to producing low-cost ounces when we commence underground mining next year.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Vertex Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.