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Ora Banda streamlines operations at Davyhurst

Ora Banda Mining is streamlining its Davyhurst operations to focus on mining the Missouri open pit for the next six months.

The reorientation of activities at Davyhurst, 120km north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, was outlined in a statement to the ASX last week, and came a week after Ora Banda announced managing director and chief executive Peter Nicholson had left the company.

Ora Banda last week said its was undertaking a strategic review at Davyhurst.

“Stage one of the review has now been completed with the delivery of an initial 24-month plan to improve productivity, lower costs and build cash to invest back into exploration and next mine resource development,” Ora Banda said.

“The roll out of this plan will commence immediately.

“Stage two of the review focuses on resource development and sustainable mine production beyond 24 months.”

Ora Banda said mining of the Riverina stage one open pit would cease in the fourth quarter of this year, while the smaller Sand King stage one pre-strip had been deferred until November to allow a single mine operational focus on the Missouri open pit for the next six months.

“The current Riverina and Missouri open pit mining fleets will be rationalised to meet operational requirements at Missouri,” the company said.

“Ore recovered from open pit mining operations at Missouri will be supplemented with ore from existing surface stockpiles to target process plant throughput at nameplate capacity of 1.2 Mtpa for the next two years.”

The company said an allowance had been made for exploration and resource development drilling activities.

“The exploration spend will target new discoveries and follow up on significant first pass air core results, including the Sky Prospect, Greater Pacific and the Sunraysia North trend.

“Resource development activities will focus on ‘next mine’ targets including Riverina Underground and the Iguana Deposit.”

Ora Banda announced on April 7 Mr Nicholson had left the company.

Mr Nicholson said that with the ongoing improvement plans, the recently completed A$20 million equity raising funding and acceleration of Ora Banda’s exploration program, he had decided the time was right for him to move on to a new challenge.

Ora Banda chairman Peter Mansell said since joining the company more than a year ago, Mr Nicholson had led it through a challenging period.

“Ora Banda has commenced an executive search process for the company’s next CEO,” its April 7 statement said.

“Andrew Czerw, general manger of resource development, will assume the role of CEO on an interim basis.

“Mr Czerw is a highly experienced geoscience professional with over 30 years of industry experience in Australia and overseas.”

Or Banda had reported an upbeat performance during the December quarter, saying gold production of 17,192oz was the best since the restart of the Davyhurst operation, where first gold had been poured in February last year.

In the December 2021 quarterly report, it reiterated a 2021-22 financial year production forecast at the lower end of 70,000oz-75,000oz.

Initial expectations was to have the processing plant deliver an average 81,000oz per annum over an initial 5.2-year minelife.

Ora Banda took control of Davyhurst following the collapse of its previous owner, Eastern Goldfields, in November 2018.

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