Citigold's Charters Towers goldfield is located surrounding the town of Charters Towers (8,500 population) in north eastern Queensland, Australia. The Charters Towers gold mines are situated 128 kilometres southwest of the major coastal City of Townsville (about 190,000 population) and are on the main Flinders Highway leading west from Townsville to the inland mining city of Mt. Isa. Townsville is a major road, rail, sea and air transport terminus and is located approximately 1,100 kilometres north of Brisbane and 2,000 kilometres north of Sydney.
Citigold's Charters Towers gold deposit is Australia's largest high grade major gold deposit with Mineral Resources of 11 million ounces of gold. (25 million tonnes @ 14g/t)
Our Charters Towers goldfield is the home of Australia’s richest goldfield having produced 6,600,000 ounces (205 tonnes) of gold over a 45 year period with an incredible average ore grade of 38 grams (1.25 ounces) per tonne. Gold production averaging 145,000 ounces a year for the 45 years. The peak gold year was 1898 at 320,000 ounces. This gold was mainly produced from one of the five major goldfield structures – the other four are mainly unexplored. Citigold's Charters Towers gold deposit is Australia’s largest bonanza grade gold deposit with current mineral resources of 10 million ounces of gold. Since 2004 for the first time in history one company, Citigold Corporation, controls 100% of this distinguished deep sourced goldfield. Only a small part of the gold deposit has been worked leaving the rest for Citigold. The historical mines were very profitable paying an estimated $1,000 million (one $billion) in dividends to their shareholders, in today’s dollars. Our current gold mine operations proves there are many rich reefs waiting to be mined.
Mining operations at Charters Towers are by underground mining methods. The gold deposits are hosted in very strong granodiorite rock that has a compressive strength of 300 MPa or five times stronger than commercial grade concrete. This makes for good mechanised mining conditions.
The gold deposits today are accessed by two Declines (downward sloping tunnels). Mining method is modern drill and blast technique. The underground tunnel system is complex and requires careful design and engineering based on the geological mine design setting out where the valuable ore is located.
The technical mining method is mechanised (long-hole open stoping on 15 metre sub-levels, trackless diesel haulage) which allows for low-cost operations. Operating costs target A$400 per ounce at full production and the current Australian gold price around A$1,600 per ounce produces strong margins.
Gold bearing ore is then hauled from the surface of the mine by truck on the approved public heavy haulage road route for 12 kilometres to the gold extraction plant.
The gold extraction plant is located away from the populated areas of the town about 10 kilometres south west of the town centre along the Gregory Highway.
The plant is a conventional CIL (Carbon In Leach) plant with a capacity to process about 340,000 tonnes per year of gold bearing ore. There is also a gravity gold recovery circuit within the overall plant design to recover some coarse gold particles which allows high grade ore to be processed through the CIL plant.
The plants gold production capability will be expanded in future years by the addition of a larger automated gravity gold circuit that will collect all the high grade gold. With the planned future pre-concentration of ore underground as a part of the mining process the plant feedgrade could increase to 20g/t and therefore could produce 250,000 ounces yearly with the current crushing and milling circuit. A future expansion will also include increasing the milling and leaching capacity so the overall plant can recover the 320,000 ounces a year planned at long term full production target.
The plant outputs gold 'dore' bars (containing about 60% gold and 30% silver) which are then shipped by secure transport to a gold bullion refiner where the gold and silver are refined and the mine is paid for these valuable metals. The silver in quantity is about 50% of the gold weight and is recovered as a normal part of the gold CIL recovery process.
Citigold's management focus is to increase shareholder value by strategically developing highly profitable and sustainable gold production from the enormously rich mining lands of Charters Towers.
Mining in the future is planned to be conducted principally by contractor operated plant and equipment. Exploration drilling is conducted by contractors. As the project expands it is expected that the number of contractors will increase. The mine is currently on care and mantainance and not in gold production.
Citigold has three sites - two underground mine accesses and the gold extraction plant. Administration is located at the central mining area. As the other underground central mines are opened up on the adjacent parallel reefs (ie Sunburst, Brilliant) they will all feed the ore to the one central gold extraction plant.
Citigold's mineral tenure cover an extensive area of over 1000 square kilometers (100,000 hectares) centred around the heart of the rich Charters Towers goldfield.
These tenements comprise (a) Mining Leases where we will be operating and expanding the gold mines, including the Central and Imperial area; (b) Mineral Development Licenses that cover the direct extensions to the mining areas in readiness for future conversion into Mining Leases prior to gold production, and (c) Exploration Permits Minerals that we are exploring to expand the gold deposits.
The Mining Leases grant to Citigold exclusive mining rights to the valuable metals. Gold and silver are the principal valuable metals mined by Citigold and we pay a royalty to the Queensland State Government of 5% of the sale price of gold and silver extracted.
The core of the mineral tenure with an area of about 148 square kilometres form the heart of the goldfield and contain the five major east-west Reef Structures. Reef Structure 1 comprises the majority of the historical gold production from the 10 major mines including the Brilliant, Day Dawn and Queen. Citigold's Charters Towers Imperial mine is located on Reef Structure 5 within granted Mining Leases situated 5km south east of the City centre on Bluff Road.
Safety, Health, Environment and Community
Citigold is committed to maintaining its “social licence to operate” by the practise of and adherence to high standards of occupational health, safety and environment (OHS&E). In accordance with its mission statement "to generate profits for shareholders"... the number one priority of both management and staff is "to explore for and produce gold profitably and sustainable without harming our employees, the community or the environment".
Citigold has successfully sustained high standards through its involvement with employees at all levels and strongly encourages employees as well as management to contribute directly to risk management decisions.
Environmental permits and government approved environmental management systems have been granted and are in place. The gold project operates in harmony with the local community of Charters Towers and its surrounding environment. Citigold ensures its various mine site activities adhere to and reflect quality standards as mandated by environmental legislation, industry practice and procedure.
(Updated August 2016)