St Barbara’s golden shake-up by Jason Mennell (Kalgoorlie Miner)

St Barbara is piling on the gold ounces at Leonora as it forges ahead with a radical shake-up of its ageing operations in the northern Goldfields.  The goldminer revealed it had added about 1.4 million ounces to its northern Goldfields portfolio as part of its Leonora province plan.  That represents a 28 per cent uplift in resources at Leonora to 6.4Moz, with 800,000oz coming from the Gwalia open pit and 600,000oz coming from its nearby Harbour Lights deposit to the north.  That came after St Barbara in December outlined a plan that put the historic Gwalia goldmine front and centre of a plan to boost group output by 40 per cent to as much as 570,000oz by 2025.

A two-stage bid to lift annual output at the 2km deep mine from 171,000ozto as much as 240,000oz in the next five years and cut costs from $1435-$1560/oz to$1100-$1200/oz. is being considered   “A combined pre-feasibility study for Tower Hill and Harbour Lights is scheduled to commence at the start of the September quarter.

“Given the expanded size of mineral resources that have already been defined, the PFS will include mill expansion options.”  St Barbara recently completed a scoping study indicating the existing Leonora plant could be upgraded to 1.7Mt/pa. A new plant that could process up to 4Mt/pa will also be considered.