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Gold Fields pipeline could grow

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The group building a $140 million gas pipeline in the Goldfields says the network will have capacity to support more development along the route.

APA Group, which controls $19 billion of energy assets, says construction of the 293km pipeline has passed the halfway mark and remains on schedule for completion this year.

The Eastern Goldfields Pipeline will connect to the existing Murrin Murrin Lateral pipeline near Laverton, delivering natural gas to the Sunrise Dam gold mine and then another 210km to Tropicana.

Both mines are owned by South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti, though Independence Group holds a 30 per cent stake in Tropicana, which produced 494,976 ounces last financial year to rank among Australia’s biggest gold mines.

APA’s group executive transmission Rob Wheals said the pipeline extends the Goldfields gas network to almost 1800km and it could support more.

He named Gold Fields’ Granny Smith operations and Dacian Gold’s Mt Morgans project as frontrunners for potential future expansion.

Gold Fields has made no secret of its intentions to start a second mine to complement the Wallaby underground operations at Granny Smith.

There is just as strong a case for the Rohan Williams-led Dacian with the pipeline cutting through the middle of its tenements.

Dacian is working on pre-feasibility studies for its Jupiter and Westralia gold deposits and has earmarked late 2016 for an investment decision building a stand-alone plant at Mt Morgans.

First gas is due to be delivered to Tropicana from January 1, barely 18 months after AngloGold committed to the proposal.

It should significantly reduce operating costs at both mines.

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