Lachlan Star (ASX: LSA) has resumed maximum rate production at the Chisperos Pit, which is the highest grade deposit at the CMD Gold Mine in Chile with an average grade of 1.1 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
Mining restrictions imposed on the high grade Chisperos Pit have been resolved after the relocation and energising of the adjacent power line that prevented full access to the pit since March 2012.
The pit will provide a substantial proportion of the ounces to be mined during calendar 2013.
Meanwhile, the company is also working to reduce its mining costs at the Tres Perlas Pit with the switch to owner mining fleet.
Delivery of the owner operated fleet has been completed and four of the seven Komatsu HD 785 trucks are operating in the Tres Perlas Pit.
The remaining equipment is expected to be operating by the end of January once all operators have been certified to operate the equipment.
The owner operated fleet is tipped to deliver a reduction on the unit mining cost in the range of US$0.35 to US$0.45 per tonne moved.
Limited blasting in the Chisperos Pit was recommenced in December after a reduction in the extent of the exclusion zone around the old power line.
With the energising of the new power line on 10 January 2013, Lachlan now has full and unfettered mining access to the Chisperos Pit.
Blasting has been curtailed in this pit since March 2012 as a result of damage to the adjacent power line.
This occurred close to the completion of waste pre-stripping of the pit and means that high grade ore production will be quickly re-established from Chisperos.
During this time Lachlan had to mine other lower grade and higher waste:ore ratio pits until access was re-established.
Contractor mining will now focus on rapidly advancing the Chisperos pit while the owner mining fleet ramps up production at the Tres Perlas pit.
Owner mining fleet
All of the ancillary equipment, such as dozers and grader, has been delivered and is operational.
Lachlan continues to employ two mining contractors to ensure a smooth transition and to maintain total movement rates.
Once the owner mining fleet is fully operational the company will use this fleet in the bulk tonnage Tres Perlas Pit and continue mining the smaller Chisperos, Churrumata and Toro pits with a contractor using the smaller 30 tonne truck fleet.
The owner operated drill fleet is also operating with three DM30 IR and two Tamrock/Terex drill rigs that have been bought and leased over the past year.
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