Developing Gold Mines in the 1980's

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
The 1980's has seen a revolution in gold mine developments in Australasia. We are witnessing a near ten fold increase in all phases of gold mine development ranging from exploration through to production. Ounces produced have yet to mirror this activity but have increased from a low point of 600,000 in 1980 to 1,800,000 ounces in 1985 in Australia alone. In 1980 the region had less than 10 gold mines, yet 14 new mines started production in 1985 and as many as 28 might start up in the next 18 months. Developing gold mines in the 1980's in Australasia has not been the easiest of jobs, yet the great number of new developments suggest that we have entered a new era that will rank in history along with the 1850's, 1890's and 1930's as high points.Within- our Australasian region two very distinctive styles of gold deposits are being discovered and developed. On the Australian mainland the new mines are in geologically old rocks and are mostly the low grade haloes surrounding worked out high grade deposits. Most are limited life open pit operations depending on recent innovative carbon-in-pulp or heap leach technology. In the Pacific Islands region the style of discoveries are geologically recent, large bulk-low-grade deposits often geologically analogous to porphyry copper deposits. These deposits are typically 10 to 20 times larger than those being proved up on the Australian mainland.
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