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The Wattle Dam underground gold mine was located 25 kilometres south east of Kambalda, in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. It began life as an open pit operation in March 2006 and became an underground mine in May 2009. The first production from the underground mine occurred in November 2009. Gold production at the Wattle Dam mine finally ended in October 2012 with the mine site infrastructure being dismantled and the area surrounding the site being rehabilitated.

While the Wattle Dam mine was in operation it had consistently produced more than 20,000 ounces of gold a quarter, making it the flagship gold mining operation of Ramelius Resources Limited. A record quarterly production level was reached in the December quarter of 2010 when 26,668 ounces of gold was produced.

Successful diamond drilling in 2011 extended the life of mine to beyond 2013 but in 2012 it became obvious the grades at the mine had become extremely erratic and similar grades were expected to continue for the remainder of the mines life. It was then decided by Ramelius Resources Limited, to cease operations at Wattle Dam in the third quarter of 2012.

The Wattle Dam gold mine became one of the lowest cost gold mines in Australia, producing some of the highest grades of gold and keeping its costs below $500 an ounce. The Wattle Dam mine produced over 100,000 ounces of gold for the financial year ended June 2011 while developing the decline to 340 metres below the surface.

Mineralised ore from the Wattle Dam Mine was processed at the Burbanks Gold Treatment Plant that is located eight kilometres from Coolgardie and 65 kilometres from the Wattle Dam mining operation. The mill is designed with a conventional CIL (carbon-in-leach) circuit and began treating Wattle Dam ore in May 2007. It has a capacity of treating up to 180,000 tonnes of ore a year.

In May 2012, when it became clear that the Wattle Dam Mine closure was imminent, Ramelius Resources Limited, set about progressing a number of gold mining projects that would serve as a replacement source of gold bearing ore, two such deposits were the Coogee and Vivien ore bodies. Another gold mine, Mount Morgan, began operations in March with throughput increasing in line with expectations. The grades were also improving at Mount Morgan as the pits were getting deeper.

The extension plan for the Wattle Dam underground gold mine was based on developing Block C and Block D zones to give the mine its longest possible production life. It had been modelled on the interpretation of diamond drilling results taken over the previous 12 months that predicted an ore body containing 216,000 tonnes of mineralised ore in Block D and 129,000 tonnes of ore from Block C. Both zones were predicted to produce around 20 grams of gold a tonne. The nature of the gold deposits at Wattle Dam defied normal JORC requirements and only became proven while actual mining operations were being carried out. Results were excellent in the earlier years of mining at the site and the company saw no reason why this high grade level could not be continued with the extension project going ahead.

Ramelius Resources

Ramelius Resources is an exploration company with various projects in WA and Qld.


Ramelius Resources
Level 1, 130 Royal St
East Perth, WA 6004

PO Box 6070
East Perth, WA 6892



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