The 50% owned Gruyere Gold Mine in Western Australia (a 50:50 Joint Venture with Gold Fields Ltd) is a Tier 1 low-cost and long-life asset with current mine life in excess of 10 years. 2022 saw Gruyere deliver record annual gold production of 314,647 ounces (100% basis).
Average annual gold production from 2023*
Project mine life*
Gruyere JV Discovery to Production
The Gruyere (JV) Gold Mine was discovered by Gold Road in October 2013 on the South Dorothy Hills Trend, 25 kilometres north-east of the Company’s original Yamarna Belt discovery, Central Bore. Within 10 months of Gruyere’s (JV) discovery, Gold Road had defined a significant high-grade gold deposit and announced a maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource of 96.93 million tonnes grading 1.23 grams of gold per tonne for 3.8 million ounces of contained gold.
The Gruyere (JV) Open Pit Mineral Resource has since grown to 153 million tonnes grading 1.33 grams per tonne for 6.69 million ounces of contained gold, making it one of the largest virgin gold discoveries in Australia.
After completing positive Feasibility Studies on Gruyere (JV), Gold Road announced in November 2016 it would sell 50% of the Project to leading international gold producer Gold Fields Ltd for A$350 million in cash plus a 1.5% Net Smelter Return royalty on production over 2 million ounces.
The transaction fully funded Gold Road for its 50% share of development capital de-risking the Project through the introduction of a partner highly experienced in the development and operation of open-pit gold mines.
Under the Joint Venture Agreement, Gold Fields were appointed the manager to develop and operate Gruyere (JV) Gold Road retained responsibility for exploration on the Joint Venture tenements.
Construction of the Project which commenced in 2017 was completed in 2019 with first gold delivered in the June 2019 quarter.
Gruyere JV Operations
The Gruyere (JV) Gold Mine, located approximately 1,200 kilometres north-east of Perth in Western Australia’s north-eastern Goldfields, is a 50:50 joint venture between Gold Road and Gruyere Mining Company Pty Ltd, a member of Gold Fields Ltd and the manager of operations.
Mining and processing operations at Gruyere (JV) run 24 hours a day, with personnel working 12-hour shifts. Gruyere (JV) has a total workforce of approximately 496 personnel, who commute via jet aircraft from Perth with a flight time of approximately 90 minutes. Gruyere (JV) has a number of personnel that commute from the local communities – Laverton and Cosmo Newberry – approximately 200 kilometres from the mine. A regular bus service drives local community employees to and from the mine, a trip that takes approximately 2 hours each way.
First gold was poured in June 2019, marking the commencement of production. Since that milestone, the Gruyere Joint Venture (JV) has successfully yielded 918,479 ounces (100% basis) of gold up until December 31, 2022. Notably, the recently updated Ore Reserve figures for 2022 have projected an extended mine life for the Gruyere JV, now anticipated to span at least until 2032.
The Gruyere JV, encompassing the Gruyere and Golden Highway Deposits, hosts Open Pit Mineral Resources of 6.69 million ounces, and Ore Reserves of 4.05 million ounces (100% basis).
Situated within the Yamarna Belt, the Gruyere JV encompasses an expansive 176 square kilometers of mining tenements. This belt holds a distinct position as the easternmost greenstone belt within Western Australia’s prolific Yilgarn gold district.
Outlook and Guidance
In April 2023, Gold Road released an updated 3-year production outlook fir the calendar years 2023, 2024 and 2025. The Gruyere (JV) Life-of-Mine plan reaffirms sustainable production at a rate of approximately 350,000 ounces per annum through to 2032. The Life-of-Mine plan for Gruyere (JV) incorporates a seven-stage open pit.
As a result of stronger throughput and head grades, the AISC outlook continues to offer strong margins at current spot gold prices.
The Golden Highway
The Golden Highway (formerly known as the Attila-Alaric Trend), is located just 25 kilometres west of the Gruyere Gold Mine on the western side of the Yamarna Greenstone Belt. It currently hosts a Mineral Resource of 720,000 ounces and Ore Reserve of 300,000 ounces.
Mineralisation is focused along a trend of highly sheared mafic and intermediate volcanics and sediments parallel to and within the Yamarna Shear Zone. Mineralisation has been traced over 50 kilometres in strike.
Golden Highway Ore Reserve currently sits at 7.32 million tonnes at 1.26 g/t Au for 300,000 ounces.
The Golden Highway Mineral Resource currently sits at 15.6 million tonnes at 1.44 g/t Au for 720,000 ounces. The Resources are hosted across the Alaric, Montagne, Orleans, Argos and Attila deposits on the Golden Highway and the YAM14 deposit to the south of the Gruyere Deposit. The Golden Highway Trend also hosts the high-grade Central Bore Inferred Resource of 0.24 million tonnes at 13.05 g/t Au for 100,000 ounces.