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Gruyere JV suffers fresh plant setback

gold production

Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources are managing another shutdown of the processing plant at the Gruyere gold mine joint venture (JV) in Western Australia after facing similar troubles in June.

According to Gold Road, a failure of a trunnion bearing caused the ball mill to shut down on September 28 with the processing plant now operating at a reduced throughput rate.

The plant is only using the semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill with repairs and an investigation into the cause now underway.

“It is currently anticipated that the ball mill will remain out of service for three to seven days,” Gold Road stated.

Gruyere’s production is expected to reach around 59,000 ounces in the September 2021 quarter.

The production outlook for the December 2021 quarter will be updated upon a return to normal production.

Gruyere’s processing plant previously faced a torn mill feed conveyor belt which also shut down its milling circuit in June.

The ball mill at Gruyere then failed after the mill feed conveyor belt was replaced and returned to normal operations in early July.

Gold Road’s three-year outlook expects production at Gruyere to lift to 350,000 ounces by 2023 on a 100 per cent basis.

The Gruyere gold mine has an 11-year mine life with forecasted annual gold production of 300,000 ounces a year.

Its throughput rate is rated at 8.5 million tonnes per annum of fresh ore. The mine entered operations in 2019 and reached steady operations in 2020.

In the first half of 2021, Gold Road achieved $129.6 million in revenue despite previous processing plant issues. Its ASX price closed at $1.20 per share on Wednesday.

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