A new $3 million mining plant that is the first of its kind in the world is about to take L&M Group to stage two of its Earnscleugh, Otago, gold-mining operation.
Testing of the floating plant will begin this week and processing will begin soon after that, says mine manager Mark Coleman.
Ten hectares have been mined so far in stage one, using a smaller plant that has now been dismantled. Stage two, the final stage, will use the new plant and take about another six years, mining another 140ha of land near McPherson Rd, between Alexandra and Clyde, Coleman says.
The land has never been mined before although it is near the historic Earnscleugh Tailings Reserve, a relic from gold mining done in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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The L&M mine employs 21 staff andwill have about 40 workers in about eight months. At peak production the mine will operate round the clock with the aim of extracting about 110,000 ounces of gold during the entire operation.
The mine's main structure has come from another L&M operation in Waikaka, and has been modified and upgraded with new jigs and spinners from Melbourne, a new screen from the United States and a new feeder from Sweden. The plant is the first of its kind in the world to be used in a floating system, Coleman says.
- Lakes District & Central Otago News