The Ernest Henry copper-gold operation is a large-scale, long-life asset. The operation employs sub-level caving or extraction method. It is located 38km north-east of Cloncurry, Queensland on the traditional lands of the Mitakoodi people.
Evolution acquired an economic interest in Ernest Henry in November 2016 from Glencore via joint ventures that delivered 100% of future gold and 30% of future copper and silver produced within an agreed life of mine area. Evolution paid 30% of the operating costs and capital of the operation. Outside the agreed life of mine area, Evolution would have a 49% interest in future additional copper, gold and silver production, and would pay 49% of the operating and capital costs. Throughout the duration of the partnership, Glencore operated the asset exceptionally well and consistently delivered results which exceeded the agreed mine plan.
On 6 January 2022, Evolution’s acquired 100% legal ownership of the Ernest Henry asset. This transaction will result in Evolution’s copper production increasing, lowering its All-in Sustaining Cost per ounce and cementing its position as one of the lowest cost gold producers in the world.
Ernest Henry had an outstanding year with records being delivered on multiple fronts. Gold production was 92,397 ounces at an AISC of negative A$(876) per ounce. The record AISC result for Ernest Henry was primarily driven by gold production being delivered to plan combined with record high achieved copper price of A$11,198 per tonne for 19,196 tonnes of copper sold. Full year net mine cash flow was A$309.0 million.
The drilling program for extensions below the 1,200mRL and the Concept Study were successfully completed with plans to seek approval for a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) in the December 2021 half-year.