Tropicana Gold JV
IGO 30% (AngloGold Ashanti (AGAA): 70% and operator).
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 first identified and secured the Tropicana tenements in 2001 and, following the formation of the Joint Venture with AGAA, the Tropicana discovery was made in 2005. Additional discoveries were made at Havana in 2006 and Boston Shaker in 2010, which was the catalyst for the completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study and development approval in 2010. Mining commenced in 2012 and first gold was produced in September 2013. Since then, over three million ounces have been mined via open pit from the Tropicana Operation. In September 2020, the commercial production was declared from the Boston Shaker Underground Mine, the first underground operation at Tropicana.
The Tropicana joint venture concession packages comprise approximately 3,600km2of 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.
During FY20, a total of 10.6Mt of ore and 81.7Mt of waste material was mined at Tropicana from a combination of the Boston Shaker, Tropicana, Havana and Havana South open pits.
The Tropicana processing plant milled a total of 8.7Mt of ore during FY20, at an average grade of 1.84g/t Au. This higher throughput rate, as compared to FY19, was implemented to offset lower head grade milled during the year as the operation transitions from open pit to underground. Gold recovery was 90.1% for the year.
Gold production from Tropicana for FY20 was 463,118 ounces (100%) or 141,169 ounces (IGO 30% share) at a cash cost of A$806/oz and All-In Sustaining Cost of A$1,171/oz.
Tropicana Gold produced - 100% basis: 380,000oz to 430,000oz
Tropicana Gold sold- IGO 30% share: 114,000oz to 129,000oz
Cash cost A$1,040/oz - A$1,120/oz Au
All-in Sustaining Costs A$1,730/oz Au to A$1,860/oz Au
Value Enhancement Opportunities
Known extensions of mineralisation beneath the Tropicana and Havana open pits offer the potential for further underground development. The Joint Venture partners have commenced studies into the potential for additional underground mines beneath the current Tropicana, Havana and Havana South pits.
Tropicana Exploration in FY21
The Tropicana mine sits on a broader 2,600km2 tenement package which remains relatively underexplored. Exploration by AGAA and IGO is focused on unlocking regional brownfields and greenfields discovery through various deep diamond and RC drill programs.
Recent brownfields drilling activity was mainly focused on resource definition at the existing Havana open pit. This drilling returned strong results which has derisked the resource and will allow the Joint Venture partners to progress toward a decision to develop an underground mine at Havana.
Regional exploration programs have also been successful, with encouraging results from targets including Voodoo Child, New Zebra, Springbok and Paradise, which will be followed up in FY21.