The Halls Creek Project includes the Nicolsons and Wagtail mines and a pipeline of exploration/development prospects in the Kimberley Region.
Pantoro’s mining operations returned to expected production levels throughout the December quarter with 12,657 ounces produced, representing a 33% increase quarter on quarter. All in sustaining costs (AISC) for the quarter were A$1,140 per ounce.
The company is currently producing gold at levels exceeding its feasibility study targets and has expanded to a production rate of 50-55,000 ounces of gold per annum.
Nicolsons Underground Mine
The Nicolsons mine provided the majority of the ore feed during the quarter, with a minor contribution from Wagtail.
Stoping and development performed well with 71,301 tonnes at 6.44 g/t gold for 14,763 ounces, including 54,841 tonnes at 7.87 g/t gold for 13,876 ounces of high-grade ore.
Ore was from a number of sources including development, cut and fill stoping, uphole benching, and airleg mining. The transition of mining methods has achieved the desired results.
Low grade stocks are being opportunistically upgraded utilising the ore sorter when there is capacity to do so.
Drilling to the north and below the current resource envelope has continued to return high grades, with excellent results returned from up to 100 metres north and 130 metres below the current development.
Development on the 1985 level is nearing completion with expected results achieved.
Wagtail Underground Mine
Pantoro received the final approvals required to commence underground mining at Wagtail in May 2018. Works commenced immediately upon approval and the first decline development round was fired on June 19, 2018.
Wagtail is being developed with a similar development philosophy to that employed at Nicolsons during the early development of the mine.
Isometric view of Wagtail mine
A small crew is advancing the decline on a 24 hour per day basis. The operations team achieved first ore development during December 2018 and will continue to ramp up ore supply from the mine as additional ore headings become available.
Ore mined to date has substantially exceeded modelled grades, and a full reconciliation will be undertaken once the first level has been completed.
The Nicolsons processing plant continued to operate reliably during the December 2018 quarter with 53,309 tonnes processed at an average grade of 7.87 g/t gold and a recovery of 93.7%.
Minor improvements to the recently upgraded crushing circuit are ongoing and when completed will see processed ore increase to about 60,000 – 63,000 tonnes per quarter.
The ore sorter is operational and performing to expectation.
READ: Pantoro drills high-grade gold at newly acquired Grants Creek
Pantoro acquired two regional projects during the 2017/2018 financial year, named Grants Creek, and Mary River.
The projects are about 100 kilometres and 25 kilometres from Nicolsons respectively and are highly prospective for the discovery of additional ore suitable for processing at Nicolsons.
Both projects are within trucking distance of the Nicolsons plant.