Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:43
Evolution Mining says damage to surrounding roads caused by heavy rain is its main concern at its Mt Rawdon open-cut gold mine near Bundaberg in Queensland.
The gold miner says it is surprised at how well the Mt Rawdon mine handled the huge amount of rainfall that fell on it as wild weather from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald lashed the state over recent days.
The Mt Rawdon mine was shut down on January 26 for safety reasons, but processing operations are expected to resume later this week depending on access to diesel and other supplies.
Processing will be limited to low-grade stockpiles while the open pit is "dewatered".
"We've been surprised at how well the site has been able to manage this rainfall event," Evolution executive chairman Jake Klein said during a briefing on the company's quarterly production report on Wednesday.
"Our team at Mt Rawdon did a fantastic job preparing for the wet season by ensuring that all water catchment areas had minimal water and were actively managed ahead of the wet season."
Mr Klein said that despite receiving close to 1000mm of rain over the past few days, the Mt Rawdon mine could have started up almost immediately after the cyclone had passed.
"Our only reservation being the capacity for supplies to be delivered to site following the damage to surrounding roads in the area," Mr Klein said.
Evolution chief operating officer Mark Le Messurier said the company was putting a proposal to the state government about discharging excess water at Mt Rawdon from the site.
"That's the ideal solution, so we can do it quickly," Mr Le Messurier said.
Mr Klein said that if government permission was not forthcoming there were options to discharge water to water catchments on site.
Mr Klein said that despite the disruption at Mt Rawdon, the company felt confident in reaffirming its production guidance of between 370,000 and 410,000 ounces of gold for the 2013 financial year, at a cost of $730 to $790 per ounce.
"That is really a great position to be in at the half year and speaks to the strength of the organisation," Mr Klein said.
Evolution said it produced 101,633 ounces at an average cost of $764 per ounce for the December quarter - significantly above its guidance of 85,000 to 90,000 ounces for the quarter.
The company said the record production result for the three months ended December 31, 2012 was driven by greater production at the Pajingo mine near Charters Towers in Queensland.
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