Development work and construction of the Phase 1 openpit and the El Nino underground mine at Barrick Gold’s South Arturo operation, in Nevada, have been accelerated, setting the stage for some production from both operations later in 2018, partner Premier Gold Mines said on Wednesday.
The Phase 1 project will be the first openpit mine operated by Barrick using autonomous mining equipment, which Premier said would create an opportunity for reduced mining costs and improved safety.
The joint venture (JV), in which Barrick holds 60% and is the operator, has budgeted $90-million for the entire project, with development capital in 2018 amounting to $17-million.
The run-of-mine material from Phase 1 would be stockpiled, pending a decision on whether to proceed with a processing facility located on the JV property.
Currently, Barrick processes ore from the existing South Arturo operation at its Goldstrike facility, about 5 km to the south.
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