Copper resources for the Queensland operation jumped 28 per cent to 1.13 million tonnes (Mt), while gold resources rose 24 per cent to 2.07 million ounces, improving the potential for mine life extension as a result.
The increased confidence in ore body geometry and grade distribution has also seen 82 per cent (10.9Mt) of indicated resources upgraded to the measured category, while 19 per cent (6.2Mt) of inferred resources have been updated to indicated.
Evolution executive chair Jake Klein said the resource upgrade consolidates the growth potential of Ernest Henry.
“The result reinforces Ernest Henry as a premier copper/gold asset that has generated exceptional shareholder returns,” he said.
“This new mineral resource estimate highlights the exciting extension potential we see at the operation. As the mineral system remains open at depth there is potential for further resource additions with the completion of further drilling.”
The resource upgrade comes off the back of 30,159m of new drilling (119 drill holes), which is being used to inform a mine extension pre-feasibility study (PFS) due for completion by December 2022.
Two surface rigs are infill drilling below Ernest Henry’s 1200m level, with the aim to drill the ore body at a more optimal angle, continue upgrading resource classification and to further delineate extensions of mineralisation where they remain open within the PFS window.
Future underground drilling will link to extending the decline and establishing better drill positions to intersect extensions of the orebody at depth.
Evolution’s gold production lifted by 16 per cent to 172,722 ounces (oz) during the June quarter, up from 148,787oz in the March quarter.
Ernest Henry produced 21,337oz of gold and 15,301t of copper across the three months, while Evolution’s total gold sales dropped slightly, from 162,015oz to 161,066oz.