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Plutonic underground mine owner, Canadian company, Barrick Gold, have blamed world economic conditions, a weakening gold price and increasing costs of operation, for cutting their staff numbers at the mine by 33 employees in June 2013. It said it was forced to adjust its structure at the mine to ensure ongoing business in the current market environment. The company is continuing to look at cost cutting as gold prices dipped in the past three quarters. In early August 2013, Barrick Gold has indicated it may sell its Plutonic mine in WA as well as its three Yilgarn mines, which went up for sale rnearlier this year.

The Plutonic Gold Deposit was Discovered in 1988
The Plutonic gold mine has been operated by Barrick Gold since the end of
2001, following a successful acquisition from the Homestake Mining Company who had owned the project since purchasing it from Plutonic Resources in 1988. The Plutonic gold deposit was discovered in 1988 by Great Central Mines.

Plutonic has a Life of Mine to 2015
The Plutonic gold mine that is situated on the Plutonic Well Greenstone Belt, 13 kilometres off the Great Northern Highway, 180 kilometres north east of Meekatharra, produced 112,000 ounces of gold in 2012 at a cash cost of $1,200 an ounce. As at the end of December, 2012, there were probable and proven mineral reserves at the Plutonic gold mine of 206,000 ounces of gold. A year earlier, December 2011, there was a proven and probable reserve of 402,000 ounces. During 2011 115,000 ounces of gold was recovered at a total cash cost of $934 an ounce. The mine currently has a life extending to 2015.

Underground Mine Started Life as an Open Pit Operation
The Plutonic mine started as an open pit gold mine in August 1990 and transitioned to an underground mine in 1995. The underground mining methods practised at the mine incorporate room and pillar technology wherever the gold bearing ore is thicker, with the support pillars being progressively mined during retreat. Long hole open stoping methods are used in areas that encounter steep dipping ore shoots. Backfilling also takes place where underground reserves are mined.

Plutonic Processing Plant Accredited by International Authority
Plutonic mine ore is processed by means of crushing and grinding in SAG and ball mills that are capable of handling two million tonnes of gold bearing ore a year. This circuit is followed by the crushed ore being exposed to CIL/CIP circuit (carbon-in-leach and a carbon-in-pulp) cyanidation. The ore is then transferred in solution to adsorption tanks to compete the gold recovery circuit before it is finally smelted and refined into gold bars. Tailings from the treatment plant are discharged into surface and in-pit storages. A paste fill plant was commissioned in 2003. The Plutonic Mine was, in 2009, accredited by the International Cyanide Management Institute.

Gas Fired Power Plant Connected to the North West Shelf Pipeline
Electric power needed to operate the Plutonic gold mine and its infrastructure is supplied by a gas-fired power station that produces 16.5 Mw using four Wartsila 18V34SG engines. The gas is derived from a connection to the North West Shelf pipeline that takes gas to Perth. An emergency, supplementary source of power is supplied by a secondary diesel fuelled power station that is also located on-site.
Mine worker accommodation is provided by a camp located two kilometres from the processing plant where fly-in-fly-out workers are housed during there rostered on shifts at the mine. Mining contractors, Maca Mining, are contracted to supply load , haulage and crusher services at the mine until December, 2013.

Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold Corporation dates back to 1983 with its first acquisition of Renabie Gold mine in Northern Ontario. Expanding in 1994, Barrick acquired Lac Minerals, giving the company interests in Canada, United States and Chile. In 2000 Barrick acquired Pangea Goldfields, a mining more


Barrick Gold
Level 9 125 George Terrace
Perth, WA 6000


Phone08 6318 5777

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MACA Limited has a contract role at plutonic

MACA Limited is a mining and Civil construction company offering contracting mining work and labour hire, civil earthworks, crushing and screening and material haulage.


MACA Limited
96 Ewing Street
Welshpool, WA 6105

PO Box 625
Welshpool, WA 6986



More info about MACA Limited

Following are the resources mined at Plutonic

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Riggers Dido

Operator Maintainer
Bis Industries requires an Operator Maintainer to join our operations at Karara, this is offered FIFO on 2:1 roster from Perth, come join the team!

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Bis Industries is seeking MC Drivers commencing at Gunnedah on a Monday to Friday roster and every other Saturday as required.

Mc Drivers Goldfields
Seeking expressions of interest from experienced MC Drivers, in consideration for multiple opportunities across our operations in the Goldfields.

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