Mining and Exploration Licence Renewals
SGM mining licence MIN5260 has been renewed for 15 years to 30 May 2035.
– A condition has been included to preclude open pit mining of “Big Hill” (area shown in map below).
SGM exploration licence EL3008 has been extended for 2 years to 20 June 2020.
– EL3008 is from Stawell to Rupanyup.
Davis Pit Rehabilitation
Since the renewal of the mining licence precludes open cut mining on Big Hill rehabilitation works are being progressed to backfill the Davis Pit. Progressing of the conceptual rehabilitation plan to a final design includes:
– Material types for backfill and stability
– Hydrology/run-off design
– Vegetation design
– Consultation with the landowner on the final design.
In April 2019 SGM drilled an 806m diamond drill hole at the Germania prospect, with anomalous gold intersected down hole. The Wildwood resource was remodelled and new learnings from the Stawell East Flank were applied across the tenement. Following initial results at Germania, SGM is interested in exploration of the northern tenements and has put in an application to move part of the Exploration Licence into a Retention Licence (refer to map).
Key Site Activities/Updates
The workforce has increased to 200 full time employees.
Mill Refurbishment and Commissioning
On January 24 2019, following several months of demolition, refurbishment and construction the mill was switched on for the first time in two years. The mill refurbishment included brand new carbon-in-leach tanks, replacement of the steel works surrounding the ball mill, and construction and design of the new honert screen structure, crusher and conveyer belts. Since commissioning of the mill in January the mill has been running five days per week (Monday to Friday), with 24/7 operations expected to commence towards the end of the year as the underground operation is able to provide consistent ore to the surface. The commissioning of the mill was a big milestone for SGM, and we are very appreciative of all the hard work from contractors and staff that went into the project.
First Gold Pour
SGM marked a momentous occasion on the 31 January 2019 with the first gold pour following the commissioning phase of the mill and of mining processes. General Manager Troy Cole stated “The pour is demonstrative that all systems are up and going and we are ready to go into mainstream production again”. The gold bar weighed approximately 244 troy ounces(7.6kg).
Employees and contractors celebrated the successful pouring of the first gold bar since reopening with an in-house function.
SGM recommences search for Dark Matter
SGM welcomes the exciting news of the Federal Government’s $5 million funding and the State Government’s $5 million funding to proceed with the construction of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL). This laboratory will be the first in the Southern Hemisphere and second in the world. The only other laboratory is located in Italy in the Northern Hemisphere.
SUPL will host a very sensitive detector called Sodium Iodide with Active Background Rejection (SABRE) and will be located in the 1025 level of the mine; which is approximately one kilometre below the surface. This depth was chosen to prevent any particles that aren’t dark matter (cosmic radiation) from being detected by SABRE and generating unwanted data.
SGM will be in close collaboration with Melbourne University, Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Swinburne University, the Australian National University, University of Adelaide, the University of Western Australia, Princeton University and the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics in order to achieve SUPL construction milestones and have experiments running by 2020.
Activities currently underway for the construction of the physics laboratory include preliminary works for ground support in the entrance to the area, testing of materials (steel and shotcrete materials) for use in the project, development of a mining works schedule and employment of additional personnel for the project. The excavation of the laboratory area is expected to be completed by the end of November this year (2019).
Mine Production Update
Over the last few months, production has increased in the East Flank at the 343 level and in the Federal Albion with the 233 and 253 levels. Additional stopes were fired on the 633 level. Due to a recently installed egress way between the 343 and 303 levels, stopes can now be fired on the East Flank at the 323 and 303 levels.
A new tunnel developed between the Moray Flats and the East Flank allows a decrease in travelling times for trucks and an improved air flow for the ventilation of the East Flank. Tunnels in this area are being developed on the 303, 405 and 423 levels. Development to access deposits is also being conducted in the 990, 950, 652 and 530 levels.