Australia

Portia Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
Commodities
  • Gold
  • Copper
  • Molybdenum
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life1.5 years (as of Jan 1, 2016)
ShapshotAt Portia, the first gold ore was mined during March 2016, with the first gold pour occurring in May 2016.

Originally the Portia Mine Site was anticipated to have approximately twelve months of overburden removal followed by approximately six months of mining and processing of the gold bearing materials, giving an expected life of mine (LoM) of approximately eighteen months total. Based on subsequent positive drilling results, approval was given to expand the original Portia open pit design to include extensions to the north and south. Majority of the north and south extensions were completed by mid-2018, subsequently in August 2018, the Porta Mine Site was placed in a phase of care and maintenance.

Benagerie Gold & Copper Pty Ltd (BGC) announced that the Portia pit is being placed on care and maintenance for a period of time until an updated PEPR (Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation) for the Benagerie ML had been approved.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Consolidated Mining and Civil 100 % Indirect
Benagerie Gold and Copper Pty Ltd. 100 % Direct
Benagerie Gold and Copper Pty Ltd (BGC) is the current owner of the Portia Mine Site.

In June 2018, Havilah Resources announced that it would sell Benagerie Gold, to its mining partner, Consolidated Mining and Civil (CMC), wholly owned by Consolidated Broken Hill Holdings (CBHH). The sale of Benagerie Gold and Copper Pty Ltd. (formerly Benagerie Gold) to CBHH was completed in April 2019.

Deposit type

  • Sedimentary
  • Vein / narrow vein

Summary:

The Portia (gold) Deposit occurs at the base of the Eyre Formation (of Tertiary age) and immediately above a weathered basement profile of pyritic albitite, graphitic pelite, quartz albitite, and another pelite unit, all of which dip at about 40 degrees.

The gold occurs as granular aggregates sitting in a deflation surface that has formed a slight depression in the basement topography. Weathering occurs for many tens of metres below the Tertiary - basement contact in the pyritic albitite but is less deep in the graphitic pelite, quartz albitite and other pelite unit. The base of the oxidised zone also occurs significantly shallower in the pyritic albitite.

The Eyre Formation is overlain by clayey sediments of the Namba Formation, which extends from surface to about 70 metres. The following cross section shows the base of Namba Formation, base of Eyre Formation, the base of the Tertiary gold horizon, dipping basement units, the base of the oxidised zone, and the base of the weathered zone.

The Portia and North Portia prospects are overlain by about 50-75 m of Quaternary and Tertiary sediments. The Proterozoic host and footwall rocks are intensely albitized and oxidized (hematite- and magnetitebearing). Prior to albitization, the host rocks were finely laminated carbonaceous shales and evaporite- and carbonate-rich beds of saline silt and shale (Teale, 1999). The hanging wall is carbonaceous phyllite intercalated with albite- and muscovite rich beds.

The regolith (Figure 3) includes, from the top down:
Soils, developed in degraded dunes and present-day floodplain deposits, consisting of 1-2 m of light brown, fine sands, with soft, powdery carbonate and groundwater gypsum in the subsoil.

Quaternary fluvial sediments, 3-8 m of moderately sorted, unconsolidated fine- to medium-grained olive brown sand and clay.

The Tertiary Namba Formation (50 m thick), comprised of various grey smectite-bearing clays with red and brown mottles. The sandrich upper Namba Formation is thought to be a fluvial and flood plain deposit, whereas the clay-rich middle and lower units were deposited in low-energy shallow lacustrine environments (Tan, 2001).

The Tertiary Portia Unit, light grey clays with abundant kaolinite, variable amounts of mica (5-20%) and minor quartz (<5%), but with up to 20% quartz sand at the base of thicker parts of the unit. The Portia Unit is probably transported, filling a palaeovalley across the prospects, and sourced from proximal saprolite.

Saprolite, over 90 m thick, developed on the Proterozoic bedrock, comprised of quartz and kaolinite, with variable amounts of goethite, hematite and mica.

Proterozoic phyllites, containing K-feldspar, albite, biotite, chlorite, scapolite, actinolite, pyrite, Fe-oxides, rutile, quartz, and vein and matrix calcite and dolomite.

Primary mineralization only occurs at North Portia and consists of chalcopyrite and molybdenite, with minor bornite and Au, in pyritic albitite host rocks. Some coarse-grained Au occurs in sulphide-poor veins in the hangingwall carbonaceous phyllite. There are two populations of Au grains, with mean compositions of 9.5% and 24% Ag for the first and second population respectively (Teale, 1999). Native Cu, covellite and chalcocite also occur in the saprolite from 85 to more than 100 m depth, i.e., below the local water table at about 70-80 m.

At Portia, irregular grains of Au (with 4-8% Ag) occur in the basal sand-rich part of the Portia Unit. Some contain arsenopyrite inclusions and appear to represent placer deposition (Tan, 2001). Some parts of the grains have Ag depleted rims which, together with numerous etch pits, grooves and voids on their surfaces, indicate dissolution. Minor amounts of small (1 µm) possibly diagenetic Au particles also occur in the Portia Unit.

In the saprolite of the Proterozoic bedrock at Portia, irregular Au grains (large grains have dimensions of 800x1400 µm) contain <10% Ag (i.e., similar to some of those in the unweathered bedrock at North Portia) and a few have galena and altaite (PbTe) inclusions. These are probably in situ primary grains, although some have secondary Ag-depleted rims (Tan, 2001).

Saprolite of Proterozoic bedrock
High Cu, Au, Mo, As, Ni and Co concentrations occur in the mineralized pyritic saprolite (Summary Table), hosted by primary and secondary minerals including chalcopyrite, chalcocite, covellite, native copper, electrum, molybdenite, arsenopyrite, pyrite (Ni, Co) and sphalerite. Where these minerals are oxidized, element concentrations decrease sharply, except in the ferruginous saprolite, which is distributed across a 250 m wide zone up-dip of the mineralized sequence. In contrast, Zn appears to be concentrated in the ferruginous saprolite as the Zn abundance in the pyritic saprolite is less. Overall, the footwall and hanging-wall units are poor in these elements.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

Results to 11 July 2018 (Divestment of Benagerie ML, which included the Portia Gold Mine).
CommodityUnits201820172016
Gold oz 8,62619,3144,962
All production numbers are expressed as metal in doré.

Operational metrics

Metrics201820172016
Ore tonnes mined 203,000 t341,000 t164,000 t
Waste 567,000 bcm3,886,000 bcm5,206,000 bcm
Tonnes processed 339,000 wmt340,000 wmt32,000 wmt

Production Costs

CommodityUnits2017
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Gold AUD 880 / oz  
C1 cash costs Gold AUD 640 / oz  
All-in costs Gold AUD 1,300 / oz  
Net of By-Product.

Financials

Units2017
Capital expenditures M AUD 17.5  
Revenue M AUD 33.7  
Gross profit M AUD 9.8  
Pre-tax Income M AUD -3.3  
After-tax Income M AUD -8.5  
EBITDA M AUD 5.1  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Aerial view:

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