Integra Mining (ASX: IGR) has reached two major milestones at the Randalls Project in early April, delivering the first ore from the Maxwells deposit ahead of schedule and intercepting the first gold underground at Cock-eyed Bob.
The Randalls Project comprises resources at the Salt Creek, Maxwells and Cock-eyed Bob deposits along with a number of exploration prospects.
The first load of ore from Maxwells was delivered to the Salt Creek process facility on April 2, with ore from the project to be blended with Salt Creek ore to provide mill feed at a grade of about 2.7 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
Ore to be trucked from Maxwells comes from the stockpile, which now stands at 150,000 tonnes, including 60,000 tonnes of high grade material of about 3.85g/t gold, and from the scheduled 40,000 tonnes per month of high grade ore being mined from the open pit.
Maxwells will provide ore feed to the Salt Creek facility for two and a half years, while the Majestic open pit is expected to be fully permitted for production in early 2013, and will also be a source of ore feed for Salt Creek.
Studies are underway to assess the underground potential of the Majestic deposit once open pit production is completed.
In addition, a 6,000 metre drilling campaign has been completed south of the Salt Creek open pit. Studies are underway to push back the open pit to the south to capture additional production.
There is also potential for underground extraction of a proportion of the remaining gold extension further to the south.
Integra has identified a total JORC Resource for underground operations at the Randalls project of 3.2 million tonnes at 5.7 grams per tonne (g/t) gold for total contained gold of 580,000 ounces.
Promisingly, all deposits remain open along strike and at depth.
Due to the prohibitive expense of further drilling from surface, Integra believes underground mining and mapping will provide greater definition of the geologically and structurally controlled high grade gold zones and the distribution of extreme high grades noticed in surface drilling.
The company is targeting a 10 year mine life at Randalls without further discovery.
Cock-eyed Bob underground trials progressing
At the Cock-eyed Bob deposit, the first gold mineralised banded-iron formation has been intersected underground, at 96 metres along the decline.
Trial underground mining began at Cock-eyed Bob in January, with the aim of demonstrating the potential for long-term production from underground sources at the Randalls project.
Underground development is progressing to schedule, and two parcels of gold mineralised banded-iron formation will be processed through the Salt Creek facility in September.
If trial mining is successful, underground mining will continue to the next level at Cock-eyed Bob, and underground development will begin at the Santa gold deposit.