Tropicana Gold JV
TROPICANA GOLD JV
IGO 30% (AngloGold Ashanti: 70% and manager).
330km ENE of Kalgoorlie.
Tropicana is located on the western edge of the Great Victoria Desert of which the traditional owners and custodians emanate from the Wongatha and Spinifex peoples.
Background and History
IGO targeted and pegged the area containing the current ore reserves in 2001. AngloGold Ashanti farmed into the project in 2002, discovering the Tropicana Operation, Havana and Boston Shaker gold deposits respectively in 2005, 2006 and 2010. The decision to develop the Tropicana Operation was announced in November 2010 following completion of a positive Bankable Feasibility Study. Mining of the Havana deposit commenced in 2012 with the first gold being produced in September 2013. As of January 2019, the Tropicana Operation has produced approximately 2.5 million ounces.
The Tropicana joint venture concession packages comprise approximately 3,600km2 of tenements stretching over some 160km in strike length along the Yilgarn Craton and Fraser Range Mobile Belt Collision Zone. Tropicana lies to the west of a major tectonic suture between the Yilgarn Craton and the Proterozoic Albany-Fraser Province that stretches over 550km. The majority of the project covers tectonically reworked Archean rocks which form the eastern margin of the Yilgarn Craton. The regional geology is dominated by granitoid rocks, felsic to mafic paragneiss and orthogneiss, and felsic to ultramafic intrusive and volcano-sedimentary rocks. Tropicana is a rare example of a large gold deposit within high grade metamorphic rocks that have undergone widespread recrystallisation and melting.
Over the last FY19 year, 35.3 million bank cubic metres was mined at Tropicana, comprising of 14.7Mt of ore and 75.9Mt of waste. The mining strategy at Tropicana uses a phased approach with multiple cut-backs and inpit dumping of waste to minimise waste haulage distances.
The mill throughput was 8.2Mt, at an average grade of 2.2g/t for FY19. Construction and installation of the second 6-megawatt (MW) ball mill was completed in October 2018, with the project commissioned in December 2018, enabling the processing throughput rate to be increased by about 5%. Gold recovery was 89.4% for the year.
Tropicana Operation gold production for FY19 was 518,172 ounces (100%) or 154,402 ounces (IGO 30% share) at a cash cost of A$680/oz or All-In Sustaining Costs of A$951/oz.
Tropicana Gold produced - 100% basis: 450,000oz to 500,000oz
Tropicana Gold sold- IGO 30% share: 135,000oz to 150,000oz
Cash cost A$700/oz - A$780/oz Au
All-in Sustaining Costs A$1,090 to A$1,210
Value Enhancement Opportunities
Boston Shaker Underground
On March 28 2019, the Tropicana Joint Venture announced the commitment to the development of the Boston Shaker Underground mine following the successful completion of the Feasibility Study. Full details are available in the release on the ASX Announcements page.
Over the FY19 period, exploration concentrated near the mine on the Tropicana mining lease (M39/1096). The focus was on looking for resource extensions, specifically the underground potential at Boston Shaker, Havana and Havana South.
Exploration drilling was conducted around the Tropicana mining and exploration leases at different prospects and targets. Drilling, totalling 33,111m, comprised:
- Aircore drilling at Angel Eyes, West Charmander and Iceburg North
- Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling at Watchtower and drilling stratigraphic fences
- RC and diamond drilling at New Zebra, Madras, Seahorse, Voodoo Child and Wild Thing