Newmarket Gold is pleased to announce that the Company's flagship Fosterville Gold Mine, the largest producing gold mine in Victoria, Australia, poured its one millionth ounce of gold on January 7, 2016. This important milestone represents over 11 years of continuous operations since mining commenced in 2004 and gold first poured in April of 2005.
Mr. Douglas Forster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newmarket Gold commented: "Fosterville's one millionth ounce of safe and sustainable production represents an important milestone for the mine and its entire team of dedicated employees. In its first one million ounces of production, Fosterville has logged more than 8 million man hours, processed 8.4 million tonnes of ore and accomplished world class recovery using a BIOX treatment system, all while maintaining an excellent safety record. With the commitment from all its employees, Fosterville will continue to deliver remarkable performance as it works towards producing its next million ounces. "
The millionth ounce is a significant achievement for Fosterville, surpassing the reserve estimated in the initial feasibility study, which included deepening three existing pits into the sulphide ore zone and the development of the underground mine currently in operation. A significant resource base, ongoing drilling success and a recent new high-grade visible gold discovery, all bode well for the future of ongoing strong gold production at Fosterville.
Mr. Ian Holland, General Manager, Fosterville Gold Mine, commented: "The key to Fosterville's success has been our strong culture focused on best-in-class safety practices, sustainable environmental solutions and significant investment in our local community. I'd like to thank and acknowledge the outstanding contribution from current and previous employees and stakeholders. Fosterville remains Victoria's largest and foremost gold producer with fantastic upside potential from our recent geological discoveries within the Lower Phoenix area, including the exciting Eagle Fault."
About Fosterville Gold Mine
- The current mining and treatment operations are the latest phase in an already historic mining region. Previous mining eras include the late 1890's, when 47,000 ounces were produced and 1991 to 2001 where open cut mining and heap leaching produced 240,000 ounces.
- The reserve estimated in the 2003 initial feasibility study included deepening three existing pits into the sulphide ore zone and commencement of the present day underground mine. Commissioning of a modern gold processing plant which included bacterial oxidation ("BIOX") was undertaken in 2005. In 2009, to further boost recoveries, a unique heated leach plant was built.
- Today, Fosterville continues to produce extremely high-grade gold results, often containing visible gold, both in drill core and underground mine faces. Currently, the Lower Phoenix system is one area that is a major source of ore at Fosterville.
- During 2015, underground drilling programs, using four underground diamond drills, focused on the definition and exploration of multiple near mine underground gold targets including the Phoenix, Lower Phoenix, Lower Phoenix Footwall (LPFW), East Dipping, Kestrel and Eagle Faults. The high-grade, visible gold Eagle Fault zone was discovered in early 2015. The Eagle zone currently contributes to Fosterville's production profile and continues to be explored, as Eagle remains open at depth.
- Fosterville's modern sulphide treatment plant is one of the world's leading BIOX systems and has achieved record recoveries. Fosterville recorded an all-time high recovery level of 89.7% at the end of the third quarter of 2015. To further improve recoveries, Fosterville has installed a new gravity circuit which is expected to become operational during Q2 2016.
- By the end of 2015, Fosterville set new annual records across its operations including record gold production of 123,095 ounces, record grade of 6.11 g/t and record recovery of 88.5%.
- Looking ahead to 2016, Fosterville is expected to produce between 110,000 - 120,000 ounces of gold with operating cash costs per ounce sold between US$500 - $575.