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Australians confident in the future of idled White River gold mine

More gold, more mines to be discovered at Sugar Zone, says Silver Lake Resources
Harte Gold underground mucking
(Harte Gold photo)

Australian miner Silver Lake Resources is keeping the faith in its idled Sugar Zone gold mine, north of White River.

At its Nov. 25 AGM, the company regards Sugar Zone to be in its relative infancy and believes there’s “significant runway” to prove up more gold while they take a year of down time to tune up the mine’s performance. 

“Silver Lake believes there is a significant opportunity at Sugar Zone for a strategic ‘reset’ at this operation through the application of more efficient operating practices and further discovery,” in remarks attributed to Chairman David Quinlivan.

Silver Lake acquired Sugar Zone from Harte Gold in February 2022 in a CCAA sale. The mine entered commercial production in January 2019.

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Mining and processing ore was halted last summer when Silver Lake decided an “operational reset” was in order to figure out the area’s geology, address inefficiencies, and upgrade the underground and surface infrastructure to resume production by mid-2024.

The company also decided to move its worker accommodation camp up Highway 631 from White River to the actual mine site to cut down on the travel time to work. 

While keeping the mine and mill in a ready state, Silver Lake is spending $28 million (Australian dollars) on a 93,000-metre drill program to get a better understanding of the ore body close to the mine and on the property.

The company said the Sugar Zone deposit has room to grow and the two untapped mineralized greenstone belts, crossing the property, could deliver new standalone mines.

Sugar Zone is Silver Lake's only Canadian mine. The company has two gold mines in Western Australia..