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Classic Minerals powers towards Kat Gap gold production

Updated: 4 days ago

IPS busy at work installing the power plant for Classic Minerals’ Gekko processing facility. Credit: File

Classic Minerals is set to produce the first gold from its Kat Gap mine in Western Australia’s famed Goldfields region this month, after flicking the live switch for the power station that will rev up its “Gekko” processing plant.

The company is now perfectly poised to become WA’s next gold producer.

Management today revealed it had successfully installed its 2-megawatt (MW) power plant, which was connected and commissioned by Industrial Power Solutions (IPS). It says the plant has been specifically designed to allow for expansion in the years ahead as its operational power requirements ramp up in tandem with the development of Kat Gap.

Classic says its Gekko processing plant will be able to handle 100 kilotonnes of throughput per year in its first-stage design and believes its new power plant will be capable of handling the required supply.

The plant, commissioned in mid-May, is powered by Cummins diesel generators, which Classic says ensures a reliable and consistent supply of electricity. It will allow the company to draw on a Canberra-led diesel fuel rebate program, starting from July 1, priced at 36c per litre.

The company expects final testing of its power plant to be wrapped up within a fortnight. Once any hiccups are addressed, it will then move ahead to the gold production phase at its 100 per cent-owned Kat Gap mine, lifting it to the lofty producer status.

The Gekko processing plant is gravity-based and Classic expects it to provide a 73 per cent recovery of the precious yellow metal from ore. More than 95 per cent of 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.

The remaining gold not captured in first-pass processing will be captured as tailings and reprocessed through a standard cyanide-leach operation down the line as the project evolves.

The existing resource at Kat Gap boasts 975,722 tonnes of ore at 2.96 grams per tonne gold, for a total 92,856 ounces. The mine sits 120km south of the WA town of Southern Cross and 50km south of Classic’s 80 per cent -owned Forrestania gold project. The company holds 578 square kilometres of tenements covering known and prospective gold and base metal targets in the region.

The Forrestania project’s resource estimates boast an additional yield of 311,050 ounces at grades of up to 1.4g/t gold.

Earlier this year, Classic posted reverse-circulation (RC) assay results from Kat Gap showing a 10m section at an eye-catching 9.26g/t gold from 57m, including a 3m pocket at 28.3g/t gold.

If everything stays in order, the company will pin back its ears and become the State’s newest gold producer.

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