The New South Wales Government has approved Evolution Mining’s plan to develop the Cowal underground gold project, which will increase company output by 140,000 ounces.
Evolution, which will extend Cowal’s mine life to 2040 with the project, aims to produce more than 350,000 ounces of gold per year at the site once the underground mine is developed.
The 60 per cent increase in production will increase Evolution’s annual gold production to more than 900,000 ounces.
Evolution will invest $380 million for the underground development and is expecting to deliver first ore by mid-2023 with paste plant commissioning to occur at the same time.
The investment received board approval this year. Evolution has since established a project team, construction contracts and the procurement of the paste fill plant.
Evolution is also expecting to complete Cowal’s Galway decline development in the December 2021 and around 37 kilometres of diamond drilling in the remainder of the 2022 financial year to optimise early production.
“The approval of this new underground mine at Cowal is a significant milestone for this world class operation. We have a bright future at Cowal with permitted mine life extended to 2040, and further job security for our local employees and contractors, Evolution chairman Jake Klein said.
We would like to acknowledge and thank the Bland, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils, the DPIE and the NSW Government, the NSW Minerals Council, the traditional custodians of the land the Wiradjuri people and the local community for their support of this important project.”
Evolution produced a mine operating cash flow of $937 million, net mine cash flow of $555 million and group cash flow of $327 million during the 2020-21 financial year.
The Cowal operation produced 210,847 ounces of gold during the 2021 financial year.
In August, Evolution earned a record profit of $345.3 million for the 2020-21 financial year which delivered a $0.05 per share full franked dividend.
The company sold 677,150 ounces of gold in the 2020-21 financial year.