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Classic Minerals taps into reliable water source

Updated: 4 days ago

Aerial view of Classic Minerals’ Kat Gap development. Credit: File

Classic Minerals has secured vital water supply security after the State Government’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) granted the company a licence to drill a second water bore at its Kat Gap gold mine in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region.

A report to certify the project’s tailings storage facility (TSF) is also moving through the bureaucratic pipeline, as the company gets all its ducks in a row to become the State’s next producer of the world’s favourite precious yellow metal.

While a TSF is required in WA before operations at a mine can be ramped up, mining legislation allows Classic to start using its “Gekko” processing plant. The Gekko equipment is being tuned for its day at the races and is on the verge of crushing and processing ore.

The plant is gravity-based and Classic expects it to achieve 73 per cent recovery of gold from ore in the early days of the project. Management says more than 95 per cent of the liberated gold will be freed through a simple process at a crush size of less than 2mm, handling 100 tonnes of ore per hour at maximum capacity.

Earlier this year, the company posted reverse-circulation (RC) assay results from Kat Gap showing a 10m section at 9.26 grams per tonne gold from 57m, which also included a 3m section at an eye-catching 28.3g/t.

Through its newly-inked additional water rights, it will be able to reliably produce the 100 million litres it needs annually at Kat Gap. Management says the water will be used to run its traditionally-designed gravity circuit and assist in dust suppression, in addition to other purposes pursuant to the development of the project.

Water always has been a significant challenge for any mining and processing operation. We now can rely on a secure water source for Kat Gap. Classic Minerals chief executive officer Dean Goodwin

As the Gekko plant upscales in tandem with the project development, tailings will be reprocessed, allowing Classic to boost the gold yield it plans to sell into world markets. Kat Gap boasts 975,722 tonnes of ore at 2.96g/t gold for a total of 92,800 ounces across the project’s lifespan.

It sits just 120km south of historic gold mining stopover Southern Cross and 50km south of Classic’s 80 per cent-owned Forrestania gold project, which has a resource estimate 311,050 ounces of gold at grades of up to 1.4g/t.

Classic holds 578 square kilometres of tenements covering known and prospective gold and base metal targets in the region. It is a company plenty of ASX punters will watch closely going into next year.

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