Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti and its joint venture partner Independence Group (IGO) have started commercial production at the Boston Shaker underground mine at Tropicana in Western Australia.

Located 330km to the east-north east of the city of Kalgoorlie, the project is an underground mine which is being developed within the Tropicana gold mine in Western Australia.

The Tropicana project is managed by AngloGold Ashanti, which owns a 70% stake and the remaining 30% interest is owned by IGO.

AngloGold said that the first production stope was fired in June this year and the underground ore production has now reached 0.7 Mtpa.

Boston Shaker underground mine has seven years of mine life

The underground mine is expected to reach its design production in March 2021.

The project is expected to contribute nearly 100,000 ounces of gold per year over a seven years of mine life.

AngloGold Ashanti Australia senior vice president Michael Erickson said: “Underground mining at Boston Shaker will leverage further value from this high performing operation, achieving payback in just over three years with upside potential as the deposit remains open at depth.

“The underground mine will contribute higher grade mill feed from the current quarter onwards, improving the gold production profile and enhancing cash flow during calendar 2021-2023 when the mine plan includes periods of higher waste stripping in the Havana open pit.”

After commissioning the Boston Shaker underground mine, the gold production at the Tropicana mine is expected to increase from 2021 and also its mine life by one year, up to 2029.

The JV has planned an underground diamond drilling in the December quarter with a decision to mine in 2021.

Recently, AngloGold and Barrick Gold have agreed to sell their 80% stake in the Morila gold mine in Mali, to Mali Lithium, an Australian gold explorer.