Gold Fields Ltd. extended the life of its St Ives gold mine in Western Australia to 2023 after the company gave the go-ahead for an over A$100 million development to tap the mine's Invincible South underground ore body, The West Australian reported June 15.
The South African miner began work on the Gibson decline into Invincible South, which will eventually be developed to a depth of about 700 meters, according to the report.
Gold Fields has spent about A$35 million annually in the last few years to push the mine's life beyond its 2020 due date, the report added. The investment decision for the mine's development is the next step in the process.
"It continues the life of the Invincible complex, which was discovered four or five years ago and continues to add life of mine for St Ives," Gold Fields Australasia Executive Vice President Stuart Mathews said.
The mine's general manager, Tim Hewitt, expects up to 880 workers and contractors to be employed at the site once Invincible South is in full swing, an increase from about 820 workers.
Work on the other parts of the mine is also ongoing, including a pre-feasibility study into mining gold from paleochannels on the eastern side of the project, and ore production at the Neptune open pit is expected until 2021.