The mine development has been planned as an open-pit mine with a number of staged pit designs to enable lower waste movement in the first years to achieve ore production. The open pit mining operation will use 120 tonne diesel hydraulic excavators and 100 tonne haulage trucks. Excavators of this size are commonly used in small to medium scale open pit mining operations world-wide and are appropriate for the mining of the style of mineralisation found at the Project.
Production modelling, scheduling and estimates indicate that a mill feed rate of 1.8 million tonnes per annum of ore can be sustained by two 120 tonne excavators for the first 12 months of the mining operation. Additional mining equipment will be required in years 2 to 5 to achieve ore production. It has been estimated that all weathered or altered material and all material mined at Kulumadau will be free dig and will not require blasting, although an allowance has been made for a small amount of production blasting and secondary breakage. All other transitional and fresh material will require drilling and blasting activities.
The life of mine stripping ratio is 9.4:1. Ore will be trucked to a central Run of Mine stockpile near the primary crushing facilityand the processing plant, where it will be crushed. Waste rock from the mine will be sent to a single dump located adjacent to each open pit. Sequenced waste dump designs have been planned to manage any potential acid forming material.
The production schedule uses a variable cut-off grade between 1.0 grams per tonne to 1.18 grams of gold per tonne to define ore depending on the individual deposit. Mineralized waste above a 0.5 gram per tonne cut off is to be stockpiled for re-handle into the processing plant at the end of the defined Ore Reserves.