The Cracow Gold Operation is Aeris’ second major operation, and the company’s flagship gold asset. It is located 500 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, Queensland, on the traditional lands of the Wulli Wulli People, and about 3 kilometres from the town of Cracow and 50 kilometres from the town of Theodore.
Aeris Resources purchased the Cracow mine from Evolution Mining in June 2020.
Cracow has been a consistent and reliable operation, producing a total of 1.4 million ounces of high-margin gold since mining began in 2004. The current mine life is out to 2023, however Cracow has a strong track record for replacing ore reserves, and Aeris has a $13 million exploration budget planned to develop the Killarney, Kenneth and Sterling brownfields targets, and the Ballymore, Northwest Corridor and Boughyard greenfields regional opportunities.
Cracow performed well in FY2019. Total gold production was 80,983oz – within the 80,000 – 85,000oz guidance range. An AISC of A$1,272/oz was also in line with guidance of A$1,250 – A$1,300/oz. Full year net mine cash flow was A$36.1 million.
The mine continued to perform well in FY2020, with guidance set at 82,500 – 87,500oz at an AISC of A$1,200 – A$1,250/oz.
Over a two-year period, to 30 June 2022, Aeris expects Cracow to generate more than $100 million of net mine cashflows at the current gold price, with pro forma Aeris group EBITDA of $272 million to $282 million and pro forma group net cash flows of $137 million to $155 million.
Multiple underground orebodies are accessed by a singular decline to surface employing truck haulage for materials ore handling to the ROM. Current mining production activities have extended to a depth of 860 metres below surface. The typical mining method employed is modified Avoca, although multiple mining methods such as uphole retreat, open stoping, flat backing and benching are also employed. Stope voids are backfilled, either with unconsolidated waste from development activities or cemented rock fill (CRF) – waste rock mixed with cement to create a cemented fill material that can be later exposed in the extraction of economic ore abutting the CRF material.
The Cracow processing plant consists of a three-stage crushing circuit, primary and secondary ball milling, pre-leach thickening, fine grinding and conventional cyanidation leaching (CIP). The dorē gold bars produced from the plant are then sold to the ABC Refinery in Sydney.