AngloGold Ashanti and its JV partner IGO Ltd have kicked off commercial production at the Boston Shaker underground mine at Tropicana gold project in Western Australia.
The development of the Boston Shaker mine was approved in March 2019, and the mine transitioned into commercial production on schedule, below the A$105.7 million ($77 million) budget and with no recordable safety incidents, AngloGold said in a press release.
According to the miner, Boston Shaker will deliver approximately 1.1 million tonnes of ore per year at an estimated grade of 3.5 grams/tonne, contributing approximately 100,000 ounces per annum to gold production over a seven-year mine life.
“Underground mining at Boston Shaker will leverage further value from this high performing operation, achieving payback in just over three years with upside potential as the deposit remains open at depth,” AngloGold Ashanti SVP Australia Michael Erickson said in a media release.
“The underground mine will contribute higher grade mill feed from the current quarter onwards, improving the gold production profile and enhancing cash flow during 2021-2023 when the mine plan includes periods of higher waste stripping in the Havana open pit.”
Underground ore production has now reached an annualized production rate of 0.7 Mtpa with the design production rate expected to be achieved in March 2021, the company said.
The commercial production milestone at Boston Shaker comes after Tropicana produced its 3 millionth ounce in March this year, seven years after pouring first gold in September 2013.
According to AngloGold, Tropicana will be able to maintain gold production at between 450,000-500,000 ounces annually over the next four years.
The mine is managed by AngloGold Ashanti Australia, with a 70 per cent interest, IGO holds a 30 per cent interest.