Red 5 has announced that the Darlot underground gold mine in the northern Goldfields will continue to produce gold as it supplies the King of the Hills processing plant. During the 2022-23 financial year, Darlot produced 56,105 ounces of gold from 702,270 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.49 grams per tonne. Red 5 has also completed drilling programs at Darlot, resulting in a proved and probable ore reserve of 1.4Mt at an average grade of 2.5 g/t, containing 114,000 ounces of gold.
The company stated that the drilling programs have increased the contained ounces within the Darlot underground ore reserve by 117% since June 30, 2022. This demonstrates the ongoing potential of the orebody to extend the mine life. Red 5 mentioned that significant cost reductions have been achieved at Darlot, including the closure of all surface activities. The company expressed confidence that with further underground exploration and development, Darlot will contribute to its production profile in the future.
Red 5 has restarted underground diamond drilling at Darlot, with plans to conduct 17,500 meters of resource extension drilling in the current financial year. This drilling will help define future ore sources. Mark Williams, the managing director, highlighted that Darlot has proven to be an exceptional gold system throughout its long production history. He stated that the ongoing drilling programs are increasing confidence in the mine plan for the next few years and are contributing to growth across multiple fronts.
Red 5 originally planned for Darlot to be a satellite mine that would feed ore to the King of the Hills processing plant. However, the company changed its strategy and moved the Darlot processing plant into care and maintenance. Instead, ore is now sent to the larger King of the Hills plant, which offers cost efficiencies through economies of scale.
Overall, Red 5 remains optimistic about the future production and potential of the Darlot underground gold mine.