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100th gold bar pouring

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Kaiser Reef’s 100th gold bar was poured at The Porcupine Flat Processing Plant in Maldon last week. The Times was lucky enough to be there to record the exciting moment.

The molten mix was poured at 1,000 degrees Celsius as the team watched on. Processing Manager Dylan Morgan, dressed in his protective fireproof coat and PPE, poured out the molten lava-like mix which was the liquid gold. 

Very quickly the gold cooled down enough to touch. Once cleaned and weighed, it was stamped proudly with the number 100 being the 100th gold bar made at the Plant since being taken over by Kaiser Reef Pty Ltd in January 2021.

The gold pouring team getting ready to pour the liquid gold; As the liquid gold is being poured into the mould it resembles molten lava; Chipping off the burnt surface of the gold bar. Photos: Tarrangower Times

Describing the whole process was Renee Bloomfield, who worked at the plant as a Processing Technician and is now the Health, Safety, Environment and Communities Coordinator. “The ore is transported into the Plant from the A1 mine between Jamieson and Woods Point in Victoria. It is then put through a process of crushing and grinding and mixed into tanks where cyanide is added to extract the gold. The gold is removed from the process through electrowinning until eventually it’s ready for smelting. Very much like baking a cake where the right amounts of flux ingredients help to refine the quality of the gold, and when the mix is smooth it is ready to pour,” Renee said.

“We are very proud to be pouring our 100th bar as Kaiser has only been here for a short time. The bars we produce are of excellent quality with up to 94% gold.” The bar is sent to the Mint for further refining before it becomes bullion. 

The company is conscious of being a part of the community and works very hard to manage noise and engage with the community. “With better equipment we can control noise more easily as it was once a very noisy environment to be in, our upgrades have improved noise reduction substantially.” 

Management wants to make sure their reputation with the Maldon community is a positive one and are planning to provide more community engagement once they move out of their construction phase. Encouraging school groups through for tours and providing work place training for school leavers are some of the plans, as well as supporting existing community groups. 

Anyone interested in mining as well as mechanical maintenance, electricians and process workers are just some of the trades suited to working at the mine. 

To maintain transparency, an Environment Review Committee (ERC) meets regularly, made up of community volunteers and members from a diverse range of environmental groups and government organisations such as Urban Land Care and Goulburn Murray Water support Kaiser’s environmental program.

Recently, they have advertised for volunteers to join this committee. 

The plant employs a substantial team of people who work as administration staff, loader operators, crusher and milling operators, electricians and maintenance workers.

Tarrangower Times 16 December 2022

This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 16 December 2022.

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