Peak Mine is comprised of several polymetallic underground mines plus an 800ktpa gold and base metals processing plant, located in the northern part of the Cobar Basin in NSW.
In April 2018, we completed the purchase of Peak Mine from Toronto-listed miner, New Gold, for a net purchase price of A$59 million. Through accelerated mining of the high-grade Chronos gold deposit, we were able to achieve investment payback on this purchase price within four months of acquisition completion.
Peak Mine produced 59,496 ounces of gold in FY19 at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of A$1,143 per ounce. This operating result included by-product base metals output of 4,267 tonnes of copper, 11,248 tonnes of lead and 3,356 tonnes of zinc.
We are currently undertaking several key growth and efficiency projects at Peak. This includes the recent completion of an upgrade to the Peak processing plant enabling increased lead/zinc throughput, which allows for maximising of base metal by-product revenue. Further initiatives include progressive lifting of underground development rates and mine throughput and accelerated access to the high-grade Kairos deposit.
Drilling at Peak Mine is currently focussed on further extensions of the existing ore bodies, further delineating the Kairos and Peak North deposits, and testing of potential high-value Peak line-of-lode targets.
The ore zones at Peak Mine are characterised as gold-rich (with copper/lead/zinc by-product credits) in the southern mine corridor, and copper-rich (with gold/silver/lead/zinc by-product credits) to the north.
Mining is typically via open stope underground methods with backfill.
The primary areas currently being mined at Peak comprise the Chronos, Perseverance and Jubilee deposits. Chronos and Perseverance are accessed via a shaft and surface decline located at the Peak mine site. The Jubilee orebody is accessed via a decline near the base of the New Cobar open pit.
Mining of the high-grade Kairos deposit is expected to commence in the second half of calendar 2020.
Mined ore is processed through an 800ktpa gold and base metal configured processing facility located at the Peak mine site.
The $53 million upgrade of the Peak plant was commissioned on time during the March 2020 quarter. The upgraded plant is fully operational with the processing of high grade Chronos Pb-Zn ore commencing in February 2020.
The plant now has flexibility to produce gold doré and separate copper, lead and zinc concentrates at throughput rates of up to 800,000 tpa of high-grade gold and/or base metal feed. This capacity is set to be rapidly utilised with the processing of Chronos Pb-Zn ore and, in subsequent years, with the processing of high-grade Au-Pb-Zn ore from the recently discovered Kairos deposit.
The Peak assets include a substantial package of exploration and mining tenements, covering an area of approximately 991km2. These tenements extend north-south over a 100km trend of highly prospective ground along the eastern margin of the Cobar Basin.
Aurelia’s current exploration activities at Peak include identifying potential Chronos-style high-grade lodes adjacent to known orebodies and targeting new Peak-style deposits in the highly endowed Cobar line-of-lode (+10km corridor).