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Classic set to bang down gold doré at Kat Gap

Updated: Apr 17

Classic Minerals has completed the commissioning of its Gekko processing plant at its Kat Gap operation in WA’s Goldfields region. Credit: File

Classic Minerals has successfully completed the commissioning of its Kat Gap processing plant in Western Australia’s Goldfields region and has declared it will have its first bar of gold doré smelted this month.

The company is set to start processing its 6504 tonnes of bulk sample ore at an average head grade of 6.06 grams per tonne at the operation using the combination of its modular-designed “Gekko” and a conventional processing plant.

The bulk sample ore will be first handled using the fixed crushing and screening plant, before moving to the milling circuit that contains a ball mill, hydro-cyclones and gravity-separating and concentrating equipment.

Management says gold will be recovered using spinning concentrators and multi-gravity separators. Concentrate cleaning will be undertaken using a single “Butchart” table separator with a capacity of 100kg/h. Concentrate dewatering will then be undertaken with smelting onsite to produce bars of gold doré.

Just last month, Classic 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.

The company says its Gekko processing plant will be able to handle 100,000 tonnes of throughput per year in its first-stage design and believes its new power plant will be capable of handling the required supply.

"This milestone signifies a major advancement for the company and represents a new era as we begin processing our own gold from the Kat Gap mine. The modern plant design and modular approach demonstrate our commitment to efficiency, sustainability, and responsible mining practices". Classic Minerals chief executive officer Dean Goodwin

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.

Kat Gap boasts more than 1 million tonnes of ore at 2.19 grams per tonne gold for a total of 80,367 ounces, including more than 20,000 ounces in the indicated category. It sits just 120km south of historic WA gold mining stopover Southern Cross and 50km south of Classic’s 80 per cent-owned Forrestania gold project. The operation is a shallow, previously unmined gold deposit that was first uncovered in the 1990s when the now-defunct Sons of Gwalia completed a resource estimate and scoping study at the site.

Classic has put a lot of work into its Kat Gap operation in the past year. And with its first gold doré expected to be smelted within weeks, it appears that the company’s persistence is about to pay off.

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