Havilah Resources announced that project partners Consolidated Mining and Civil (CMC) have temporarily suspended mining at the Portia gold mine due to safety concerns stemming from a slip at the mine’s open pit wall.
The company said the Portia open pit wall has experienced a slip in an area where ore was previously mined, adding that it is addressing the situation to restart mining operations as soon as possible.
“As a matter of prudence, Consolidated Mining and Civil (CMC) has decided to temporarily suspend their mining operations in order to allow geotechnical experts to study the geometry of the slip and carry out back calculations of the material strength,” the company said in statement to the ASX.
“The slip provides critical live data that can be used to test, re-calibrate and update past geotechnical models. The objective is to provide updated guidance on the safest and best mine design going forward in order to minimise the risk of any further pit wall slips.”
Havilah also announced the commissioning of its processing plant, which is now processing high grade gold ore sourced from its accumulated stockpiles.
“With the processing plant ramping up to design capacity and steady operations, the processing of high grade gold ore has now commenced,” reads the statement.
“Concentrates from the riffle and Knelson concentrates show that both pieces of equipment are recovering free gold particles over a wide size range. Ore is being sourced from the stockpile generated from mining the interim sub-pit, as previously reported, with there being sufficient material available for treatment for several weeks.”
Commenting on recent developments, Havilah Managing Director Chris Giles said:
“We are pleased to have commissioned our gold plant and see it operating according to design. Although I have often said it is a “simple” gravity plant, there I no room for error if we are to maximise gold recoveries.”
“We fully endorse CMC’s cautious approach in having geotechnical experts review the current mine design and identify and suggestions for modifications going forward that will reduce the likelihood of future pit wall slips. Fortunately, we have plenty of ore stockpiled so production of gold from our processing plant will not be affected while this geotechnical study is being concluded.”