The Lynne Decline project is a unicorn in the world of mining – coming in safely, on budget and almost on time.
Mining engineer and project manager Rob Baker has been juggling the various working parts of the project for 18 months.
“The ore really sits at about 400 to 450m below surface,” Mr Baker said.
“All up the project has just over 7km of development that needs to be completed, that’s decline development as well as ore drive development.
“We should be mining ore from the Lynne stopes in roughly January 2021. So there’s a bit of a delay between now and when we start mining the orebody.
“The project is based on an average ore grade of 5.2g per tonne, that’s for stoping and development ore tonnes . But when we get into the orebody we will hopefully realise more ore at an improved grade. ”
The projected 63,000oz recovered was just the start of the project, Mr Baker said.
“ Stage one of this project is really just to fund all the infrastructure to get us down to the Lynne orebody because there are a number of additional ore bodies located around the Lynne orebody that we could potentially mine from the Lynne infrastructure,” he said.
Potential for growth
“We will get cheaper and more accurate geological drilling from the decline than we would if we were drilling from the surface.
“If stage one of the project pays for all the infrastructure and breaks even, that would be a good outcome. At current gold prices however, the project will certainly generate a profit.
“We’ve already seen from additional drilling that’s been completed from surface that there is a lot of potential for the Lynne ore body to grow in size and to produce more ounces than we originally budgeted on.”
While paying credit to the mining contractors, Pit N Portal, in developing a high-standard decline, Mr Baker also nominated the contribution of local contractors in making the operation a success.
“Credit also needs to go to the Charters Towers based earthmoving contractor, Milray Contracting,” he said. “They mined the box cut and completed all the earthworks for the project and they did a fantastic job.”