Kaiser moves to owner-operator model, begins decline development at high grade A1 gold mine
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To lower operating costs, Australia’s newest gold miner Kaiser has assumed ownership of its mining fleet as tunnelling toward the thick, high grade ‘Queens Lode’ begins.
In late January, Kaiser Reef (ASX:KAU) became Australia’s newest gold producer after acquiring the very high grade A1 gold mine in Victoria.
A1 has produced ~500,000oz of gold since 1861 and is still going strong — over the past 18 months the mine has provided the processing plant with ore grading a very high grade 11.4g/t gold.
As part of plans to optimise the 150,000tpa operation, Kaiser is terminating high-cost equipment hire contracts covering portions of the mining fleet and will move to an owner-operator model.
This is an important step as Kaiser moves to achieve lower operating costs, as well as secure the required equipment to commence the ramp-up to mechanical mining of the ‘Queens Lode’ in the coming months.
Kaiser believes that very little exploration drilling has been undertaken beneath the mine’s existing mined lodes in recent times.
The first target is the Queens Lode, currently the subject of an infill drilling program.
Kaiser says the first cut has been made to advance the decline to access Queens, where drilling has, so far, indicated wide lodes of mineralisation that remain open in multiple directions.
‘Open’ means Kaiser doesn’t know where the high grade gold ends yet.
This style of mineralisation, which has been mined at A1 previously, provides a larger tonnage source of ore than the narrow-vein lode currently being mined, Kaiser says.
The two most recent holes — announced on 26 March 2021—returned a highlight:
– 7.4m @ 6.04g/t gold from 18m and 8.5m @ 9.26g/t from 58m (within a broader zone of 21m @ 5.03g/t)
– 7.4m @ 3.60g/t from 13.7m, and
– 0.6m at 67.9g/t from 13.5m (not the Queens Lode)
“The Queens Lode mineralogy has a greater thickness hosted by intense mineralisation that lends it to mechanical mining styles,” Kaiser says.
“The first results from the Queens Lode drilling are encouraging and have the potential to support an increased production profile in line with Kaisers internal planning.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Kaiser, 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.