White Rock Minerals has commenced pre-production development underground at the high-grade Morning Star gold mine in Victoria, to access potential high-grade gold-bearing reefs identified from its ongoing aggressive diamond drilling campaign.
White Rock’s primary objective at the Morning Star Gold Mine is a low capital cost restart of gold production from multiple reef locations. The existence of an underground mine with infrastructure already in place (shaft, headframe and winder, dewatering system and off-shaft development), and a gold processing plant already built, offers the company a quick pathway to gold production.
This allows the company to leapfrog many of the issues associated with a company going from explorer to producer – the time to achieve the necessary approvals and permits, supply chain challenges, ordering and delivering long lead times, and cost inflation and construction risks.
The 80,000 tonnes per annum gravity gold processing plant is being readied with pre-production commissioning about to commence. All components of the plant have been stripped, checked and refurbished as required, including the previously problematic VSI crushing unit and screens. Pipe runs have been stream-lined and obsolete or unnecessary equipment removed.
Initial gold production remains on track for Q3 2022, propelling White Rock into the league of gold producers.
Two new Eimco 12B Rocker Shovels from South Africa have been ordered to support the growing number of potential mining areas needing to be developed and two new scrapers are on their way from Canada.
Additional accommodation has been secured for the next stage of operational activity as the company leases the Woods Point’s Commercial Hotel, providing an additional 15 beds.
White Rock managing director and chief executive officer Matt Gill said the drill results gave a high level of confidence that the existing Morning Star mine has the potential to develop into “a whole new gold mining operation”.
The success of the drilling to date and our own geological modelling and interpretation has given us the confidence to ramp-up activities onsite,” he said.