Cue Gold Operation (CGO)
CGO is located around the regional town of Cue and encompasses Westgold’s southern-most group of Murchison assets including the historic mining centres of Big Bell, Cuddingwarra, Day Dawn, Tuckabianna and Pinnacles. This package includes two of Australia’s most prolific past producers in the Big Bell mine [≈2.6 million ounces] and the Great Fingall mine [≈1.2 million ounces].
CGO incorporates the 1.2-1.4 Mtpa Tuckabianna processing hub, a 136-person village at Big Bell, a 250-person camp at Cue and associated mining infrastructure to support a large FIFO and DIDO mining operation. The Tuckabianna plant receives underground ore from the large Big Bell underground and the smaller Comet underground mines as well ore from the Cuddingwarra open pits.
The Tuckabianna processing hub treated 1,261,129 tonnes of ore, within the mid-range of the plants operating capacity and in line with expectations. The metallurgical recoveries rate for the ore blend was 88.21%.
While Big Bell is the primary producer of ore to the Tuckabianna mill, the Comet underground mine has served well as a supplementary source and is expected to continue as such in FY22. After three years of de-watering, mine rehabilitation and refurbishment, Big Bell mine production began to rise in FY21 with steady state operations expected to be achieved in FY22.
A number of open pits commenced at CGO in FY2021 including a new mining hub at Cuddingwarra North and open pits at Jim’s Find and City of Chester. Exploration and viability studies were carried out during FY2021 at the previously mined Fender open pit mine on the southern limits of the Big Bell shear, testing the economics of a transition to underground operations with this potential development scheduled to commence during FY22.
In addition to the mining operations, the Company is accelerating exploration activities across CGO with the primary focus being the Cuddingwarra and Day Dawn mining centres. This work has recently included the collection of new geophysical datasets and geological re-interpretations leading to the selection of new priority targets for drill testing in the second half of FY22.