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Kaiser looks for boost with gold plant upgrade

Gold producer Kaiser Reef has completed the first part of an upgrade, modernisation and maintenance program at its wholly owned Maldon gold processing plant. The company says the upgrade works are expected to deliver a 20 per cent increase in throughput rates in addition to gold recovery improvements.

Reduction in unit costs through lower power consumption and more efficient operation are also expected, that should significantly reduce operating costs.

Ore processing was suspended for two weeks during the operation, however work has now resumed and the plant is at present operating at full capacity.

The upgrade was conducted without incident and within the tight time frame planned to minimise production disruption

Phase one of the project to refurbish and upgrade the semi-autogenous grinding, or “SAG” milling circuit in the Maldon Plant was completed in the last two weeks of May, with a newly designed SAG discharge hopper made and installed by Ballarat company Gekko, along with the replacement of structural steel within the mill building and a rolling replacement of parts of the leaching circuit

The upgrade will include the installation of a new type of agitator that will improve the energy efficiency, maintenance and reduce the noise footprint of the plant considerably — a big plus for the local community.

Phase 2 is planned to include the replacement of the classification circuit with more efficient equipment and is currently scheduled for July and August.

Work designed to further increase plant efficiency will be scheduled during the 2022-2023 fiscal year and will include the replacement of some tanks and the installation of a fully digital supervisory control and data acquisition system

Kaiser is actively investing in the long-term improvement of its assets and expects the work to result in increased tonnage rates and reduced operating costs

Maldon is a high-grade historic goldfield mostly within Kaiser’s tenements. Previous production of 1.74 million ounces of gold came mainly from within 300m of the surface according to the historical records, leading Kaiser to see further opportunities at deeper levels

More than 500,000 ounces of production at a whopping 26 grams per tonne gold has come from the A1 dyke to-date and Kaiser has identified significant exploration targets in the A2, A3/A4 and A5 dykes immediately north of A1. The company has previously said it expects the additional dykes to be mineralised

In addition to its 150,000 tonne per annum gold processing plant at Maldon, Kaiser has a valid mining licence and direct access to underground high-grade ore from its well-established decline. With the A1 mine profitably churning out gold and improvements continuing at the processing end, Kaiser’s Victorian gold strategy appears to be on the up and up.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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