Special Report: GBM is now a gold producer with the pouring of the first dore bar at its White Dam gold-copper joint venture in South Australia with Round Oak Minerals.

This follows the first production of copper concentration from the sulphidisation-acidification-recycling-thickening (SART) plant in July.

GBM Resources (ASX:GBZ) says the SART plant and associated copper concentrate production continues to ramp-up broadly in-line with expectations.

The company has also identified optimisation opportunities expected to drive further expanded production and reduce costs.

“We are now working to finalise shipping of the first copper concentrates once the concentrate drying process is completed,” managing director Peter Rohner said.

“The SART Plant is meeting its design objectives of removing copper and increasing the recovery of the cyanide solution back into the circuit to increase gold recoveries, which together enhance the overall economics of the White Dam operation.”

Rohner added that while recent rain resulted in some minor delays, the additional water was set to increase heap leach irrigation and result in higher gold and copper production in the near term.

gold production
Gold dore production at White Dam Pic: Supplied

Gold-copper joint venture

GBM earned its 50 per cent stake in the White Dam JV after completing construction of the SART plant and has the option to acquire the remaining 50 per cent for $500,000, plus replace the ~$1.9 million environmental bond and a 2 per cent royalty on any copper and gold production revenues.

White Dam, which sits about 50 km southwest of Broken Hill, is a heap leach operation that has produced about 175,000 oz of gold since 2010.

The region is host to numerous gold and base metal occurrences including Havilah Resources’ (ASX:HAV) Kalkaroo copper-gold deposit that contains 1.1 million tonnes of copper, 3.1 million oz of gold and 23,200 tonnes of cobalt about 40km north of White Dam.

In August, the White Dam JV defined a maiden JORC 2012 resource of 4.6 million tonnes grading 0.7 grams per tonne gold (g/t) for 101,900 oz of contained gold, for the Hannaford, Vertigo and White Dam North deposits.

More than half of this is contained in oxidised portions with the potential to be successfully leached in the current plant.

While copper grades have not been reported due to insufficient data, the industrial metal is expected to be a valuable by product.

GBM noted that White Dam contained a large exploration tenement package with considerable potential for further resource growth.

This provides substantial potential to extend the life of the operation given that current Australian gold prices are well above $2,600/oz compared to the $1,650/oz the precious metal was fetching at the time of the most recent mining campaign in 2016-17.

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This article was developed in collaboration with GBM Resources, 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.