Karari was one of the original deposits that constituted the justification for the construction of the Carosue Processing facility in 1999. The pit lies approximately 0.5km to the South of the Carosue Dam processing plant, with all ore being directly hauled to the mill in mining trucks. Historically, this was a high tonnage deposit which lends itself to additional cutbacks and potentially a bulk mining method for an underground operation. Over its four year life 4.7Mt of ore averaging 1.8g/t ~278koz, were mined from the Karari deposit.
The deposit itself is lithologically and structurally controlled and sits within an altered volcaniclastic sandstone unit that has been offset along a series of major faults running NE-SW and NW-SE. The stratigraphy has been intruded by large post mineralization lamprophyre units.
Mineralization is dominated by silica-sericite-pyrite alteration and hosted in broad hematite altered sandstone unit. A series of north plunging high grade ore shoots are developed at the intersection of key mineralised structures.
The Karari pit was first mined in 2000 as one of the start up pits for the then newly established Carouse Dam Operations. Subsequent cut backs on the original pit culminated in stage 3 being completed in 2004. Following on from a rising gold price Saracen initiated studies into the viability of a further cutback at Karari. Mining of stage 4 of Karari commenced in the third quarter of FY2011, continuing for two and half years and mining to a final depth of 210m. Underground mining studies were then undertaken to assess the viability of an underground operation at Karari, which culminated in the establishment of a portal near the base of the most recent open pit cutback in December 2014.
Following establishment of the Karari portal, came substantial reserve growth off of the back of establishing an exploration drill drive. The reserve growth and increase in strike length saw the mine design transition to a duel decline. Via the duel decline, the ore body was mined using a sub level open stoping method which targeted ore body extraction of 75-80%. A study into implementing pastefill, and altering the mining method at Karari was conducted in 2017, and following positive results (+95% ore body extraction) lead to the successful implementation of pastefill at Karari in May 2019.
Karari Underground has been operating for 5 years and has continually ramped up production and currently produces approximately 1.2Mtpa. Through its mining contractor Byrnecut has a fleet of 2 Jumbos, 4 LHD’s, 2 Production Drills and 8 Trucks. Karari is situated approximately 500m from the CDO Mill and supplies majority of the mills feed over the next 7 years.