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Conference Proceedings

Sixth International Mining Geology Conference

Conference Proceedings

Sixth International Mining Geology Conference

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Putting Geology and Engineering Back into Resource/Reserve Determination

The Argo Archaean lode gold deposit is hosted within a structurally complex shear zone system, 70 km south of Kalgoorlie, and 3 km west of the crustal-scale Boulder - Lefroy Fault. Argo is an active underground mine currently producing at a rate of 120 koz pa with a Probable and Proven Reserve as at December 2005 of 2.19 Mt at 5.94 g/t Au (419 koz), a reduction on the December 2004 Probable and Proven Reserve of 4.58 Mt at 5.74 g/t Au (845 koz). This Reserve is hosted in six separate gold bearing lodes within the Argo shear system. Presently, a further six subeconomic shears are recognised. The 2005 Reserve figure represents a reduction of 426 koz compared to the 2004 Reserve as a result of a thorough review of the geological interpretation/resource model, and engineering factors applied to the Resource/Reserve, and depletion due to mining._x000D_
Year on year Resource/Reserve figures at Argo had gradually increased as additional information on the system became available and mining methods were increasingly resolved with early production. The portal for Argo underground mine was cut in June 2002 within the highly profitable Argo open pit. The proposed Avoca' bottom-up mining method required extensive lead time between development and the commencement of stoping in April 2004. During development considerable additional complexity in the Resource was encountered. Additional structures were identified, and complex splay interactions affecting the geology impacted on development. Intensive concurrent exploration in the footwall to the main lode during this period was the main cause of the increase in the Resource/Reserve figures during early development._x000D_
As development progressed, lower grade continuity was observed than was previously interpreted. At the same time, drilling of deeper portions of the deposit and subsequent reinterpretation of the geological model significantly reduced strike lengths of economic mineralisation. Radical changes to the mining methods were required to improve productivities and to satisfy geotechnical considerations. The changes altered the engineering factors applied, which resulted in a reduction in the Reserve figures._x000D_
FORMAL CITATION:Briggs, T, Dormer, D, Darvall, M and Fare, R, 2006. Putting geology and engineering back into resource/reserve determination, in Proceedings Sixth International Mining Geology Conference, pp 137-142 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2005
  • PDF Size: 0.515 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P200606016

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