Australia

Kalgoorlie Operation

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Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
Commodities
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Longhole open stoping
  • Bench stoping
  • Cemented paste backfill
Production Start... Lock
ShapshotKalgoorlie Operations consist of the Kanowna Belle underground mine and the South Kalgoorlie Operation (SKO), which includes the HBJ underground mine (Hampton Boulder Jubilee); Kanowna Belle Processing Facility; and Jubilee Processing Facility. Jubilee mill being placed on care and maintenance in Q1 2023.
Related AssetsKanowna Belle Mine, South Kalgoorlie Mine

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Northern Star Resources Ltd. 100 % Indirect

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Orogenic
  • Paleoplacer
  • Porphyry
  • Vein / narrow vein

Summary:

Kalgoorlie Operations consist of the Kanowna Belle underground mine and the HBJ underground mines (HBJ).

Kanowna
Kanowna Belle is located within the Kalgoorlie Terrane, one of a number of elongate, broadly NNW-SSE striking structural-stratigraphic late Archaean greenstone terranes of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. The Kanowna Belle gold mine is located close to the centre of the NNW-SSE trending, greenstone-dominated Boorara Domain, the eastern most subdivision of the Kalgoorlie Terrane.

The Kanowna Belle deposit can be categorised as a refractory, Archean lode-gold type deposit. The orebody is comprised of several ore shoots, including the large Lowes Shoot, and several smaller lodes including Troy, Sims, Hilder, Hangingwall and Footwall shoots controlled by sets of structures of various orientations oblique to Lowes. 600m west of the main Lowes lode, are the Velvet and Joplin lodes, that are considered to be part of the KB mineralised system.

Mineralisation is mainly hosted within a large porphyritic granodiorite body (Kanowna Belle Porphyry) that has intruded a sequence of sedimentary and volcaniclastic rocks. A zone of intense structural disruption (Fitzroy Shear Zone) separates the deposit into hangingwall and footwall structural domains and is the primary control on gold distribution. Gold mineralisation is locally associated with quartz-carbonate stockwork veins, breccia zones, sulphide-quartz-carbonate stringers and sheeted vein arrays. The generally tabular enveloping surface to mineralisation dips steeply to the south, has a high plunge to strike ratio and remains open at depth.

Lowes contains some 80% of known gold mineralisation and strikes ENE, dips steeply SSW and plunges steeply SW. The Lowes shoot has a strike length of 500m, width between 5 m and 50 m and down-plunge extent greater than 1,250 m. The overall steep SE plunge is interpreted to reflect the intersection of D1 (ENE) and D2 (NW) structures.

Kanowna Belle is one of the few known refractory pyritic orebodies in the Yilgarn Craton. Gold in the Kanowna Belle deposit occurs mostly as fine-grained (<10 µm) inclusions in pyrite or as very fine-grained gold located in arsenic-rich growth zones in pyrite. Typical ore assemblages contain 0.5% S to 1.5% S and 40 ppm As.

The Kanowna Belle deposit is hosted by sedimentary volcanoclastic and conglomeratic rocks which are separated into hangingwall and footwall sequences by a major, steeply SSE dipping zone of structural disruption. This structure represents the product of at least three distinct stages of deformation, comprising the Fitzroy Mylonite, the Fitzroy Shear Zone and the Fitzroy Fault, which have produced clear structural overprinting relations. Importantly, this structure has localised emplacement of the Kanowna Belle porphyry which hosts at least 70% of known mineralisation. Localisation of high grade mineralisation and most intense alteration around the composite structure emphasises its importance for acting as the major plumbing system for fluids.

Formation of the Fitzroy Mylonite and Fitzroy Shear Zone are interpreted to have occurred during regional south-to-north D1 thrusting. A switch in far-field stress axes to the approximately ENE-WSW D2 orientation caused reactivation of the Fitzroy Shear Zone, resulting in sigmoidal folding of pre-existing structures and formation of a shallow lineation associated with sinistral transcurrent shearing. The Kanowna Belle porphyry crosscuts fabrics associated with the D1 Fitzroy Mylonite and Fitzroy Shear Zone and is in turn overprinted by S2.

The near-surface weathered portion of the Kanowna Belle deposit shows significant gold depletion to at least 35 m above an undulating supergene “blanket” horizon. This mineralised supergene “blanket” had pre-mining plan dimensions of 600m strike x 250m across strike and a thickness of between 1 m and 10 m. The main Lowes shoot has a strike length of 500 m, width of 5 m to 50 m, and a down-plunge extent greater than 1,250 m. Hanging wall shoots have a maximum strike of 240 m, width of 2 m to 10 m and a current down plunge extent of no more than 800 m. Footwall shoots have a maximum strike of 240 m, width of 2 m to 20 m and a current down plunge extent of no more than 700 m. Velvet lodes have a strike length of 50-400 m, width of 2-30 m, and a down-plunge extent of approximately 500 m. Joplin lodes have a strike length of 50-800 m, width of 0.5 m to 5m and a known down dip extent of 150-350 m.

South Kalgoorlie
The South Kalgoorlie Operations (SKO) are located within the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane and the 842sqkm tenement package traverses across the Coolgardie, Ora Banda, Kambalda and Boorara Domains. Mineralisation is associated with the greenstone sequence that consists of a mafic to ultramafic volcanic succession that is overlain by an intermediate to felsic volcano-sedimentary sequence.

The structural architecture is dominated by NNW-trending crustal scale shear zones including the Boulder-Lefroy, Zuleika, Abattoir, Boorara, Kunanulling, Binduli and Spargoville structural corridors. These structural corridors are the key influencers of mineralisation in the greater Kalgoorlie district and to date have yielded a mineral endowment of over 100Moz.

Mineralisation styles within the district is a combination of Orogenic and Paleoplacer style deposits. Mineralisation is controlled by Brittle-Ductile shear zones, 1st and 2nd order structures that act as Lithostratigraphic contacts (as fluid conduits) through late stage brittle structures. Mineralisation is also associated with fertile sulphidised intrusive porphyries and layered mafic intrusions with chemically reactive lithologies that provide a rheological contrast.

Stratigraphy for the Ora Banda and Kalgoorlie Domains is relatively well-known and comprises (from stratigraphically lowest) a lower basalt unit, komatiitic to high-magnesian basaltic rocks, an upper basalt unit and overlying felsic volcanic-sedimentary units. Conglomeratic and sandstone units unconformably overlie the upper felsic units adjacent to major shear zones. Layered mafic sills occur within various stratigraphic units and cross-cutting Proterozoic dykes also occur throughout the region. Metamorphic grade ranges from upper greenschist to upper amphibolite facies.

The deformation history of the area is generally divided into four main phases, comprising north-directed thrusting with recumbent folding and stratigraphic repetition in D1. The second deformation (D2) resulted in north-northwest trending folds which are reflected in the dominant north-northwest trending fabric of the greenstone belts. Shortening continued during D3 with strike slip movement along northwest to north northwest trending shear zones and D4 brittle faulting.

The HBJ orebodies form part of a gold mineralised system along the Boulder-Lefroy shear zone that is over 4 km long and includes the Celebration, Mutooroo, HBJ and Golden Hope open pit and underground mines.

The HBJ orebodies are hosted within a steeply-dipping, north-northwest-striking package of mafic, ultramafic, and sedimentary rocks and schists that have been intruded by felsic to intermediate porphyries. The area is extensively deformed with numerous north-striking shear zones and dilation of the porphyry intrusions.

The HBJ resource extends over 3 km of strike and up to 1 km below surface with the individual lodes being up to 80 m wide, but often only several metres wide.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Summary:

Consolidation of mill production to a single mill at Kanowna Belle, as a result of the Jubilee mill being placed on care and maintenance in Q1 FY2023.

Kanowna Belle
The crushing and grinding circuits are common for the free milling and refractory circuits.

The crushing circuit is a simple single stage circuit with a 240t capacity ROM bin feeding a Jaques double toggle 60x48 (185kw) crusher at a 420tph crushing capacity. The crushed ore, nominally minus 125mm reports to a 20,000t partially-covered coarse ore stockpile with a live capacity of about 1,000t.

This product is then reclaimed by an apron feeder and two vibrating feeders located under the stockpile and discharged onto a conveyor belt. The crushed ore is then conveyed to the grinding circuit.

The grinding circuit comprises an ANI Products 7.32m x 3.35m SAG mill operating in closed circuit with a Metso Nordberg HP200 recycle cone crusher and an ANI Products 4.72m x 7.01m Ball mill in closed circuit with cyclones. The SAG mill has a grate discharge and is steel lined, while the Ball mill has a trommel screen discharge and is rubber lined. The SAG mill has a variable speed drive with a range of 10 to 12 rpm, while the Ball mill has a fixed speed drive at 14.0 rev/min (72% of critical). The installed power for the SAG and Ball mills is 2,850kW. The grinding circuit throughput is currently around 240 – 250tph.

Jubilee Plant
The crushing circuit is three-stage consisting of a primary jaw crusher feeding a 6,000t live capacity coarse ore bin, operating at an average rate of 350 t/h, and a secondary and tertiary crusher circuit closed by a vibrating screen operating at an average rate of 200 t/h. The -8 mm crushing circuit product reports to the 3,500t live capacity fine ore bin.

Ore from the fine ore bin is fed to the grinding circuit via conveyor, quicklime is added to the belt for pH adjustment. The grinding circuit consists of a primary and secondary mill in closed circuit with hydrocyclones. The fine particles (80% less than 0.150 mm) report to the cyclone overflow, which is fed to the leaching circuit.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits2023202220212020201920182017
Gold oz 000000000000000000000000000000269,396225,689
All production numbers are expressed as metal in doré.

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018
Annual processing capacity 00000
Ore tonnes mined 000000000000000000000000000000000001,963,768 t
Waste 000000
Tonnes milled 000000000000000000000000000000000002,028,158 t

Production Costs

CommodityUnits202320222021202020192018
Credits (by-product) Gold AUD 0 0 0
Total cash costs (sold) Gold AUD 00000000 00000000 00000000
All-in sustaining costs (sold) Gold AUD 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 1,330 / oz   1,174 / oz  
All-in costs Gold AUD 00000000 00000000 00000000
Net of By-Product.

Financials

Units2023202220212020201920182017
Growth Capital M AUD  ....  Subscribe
Revenue M AUD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 438.3   376.7  
Pre-tax Income M AUD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 129.8  
EBITDA M AUD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 199.4   210.4  
Operating Cash Flow M AUD  ....  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

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Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
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Total WorkforceYear
Subscription required 2020
Subscription required 2019
Subscription required 2018
Subscription required 2016

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