Dargues Mine is a gold mining and milling operation located in the southern tablelands of New South Wales, approximately 60 km south-east of Canberra. It comprises an underground mine, processing plant and associated surface facilities.
In December 2020 we completed the purchase of the Dargues Mine from Diversified Minerals Pty Ltd, for a purchase price of A$190 million (excluding a contingent payment of A$5 million). The acquisition comprised the Dargues Mine, associated rural properties and regional exploration tenements.
The Dargues Mine produces a gold concentrate free of deleterious elements. The first concentrate shipment from Dargues was exported in June 2020.
Ore is mined at Dargues via conventional bottom-up longhole stoping and trucked from the underground mine to a surface stockpile adjacent to the process plant. Stope voids are backfilled with either cemented hydraulic fill or waste rock. Mine access is via a boxcut and decline from the surface.
The process plant has a permitted capacity of 355ktpa and comprises a three-stage crushing circuit, ball mill and two-stage flotation circuit producing a clean gold-rich pyrite concentrate. Process tailings are used for cemented hydraulic fill or deposited in a lined storage facility.
The process plant reached its nameplate capacity of 30kt per month in September 2020. Underground ore production is expected to ramp-up to full capacity by mid-2021.
Aurelia has identified significant exploration upside potential at Dargues, with the existing mineral resource only constrained at depth by the location, quantity and density of drilling. There is also clear potential for extensions to the Dargues deposit along strike. Aurelia has prioritised an accelerated extensional and infill drilling program with completion of Phase 1 drilling targeted for mid-2021.