Ground support work for the portal will commence late in 2018 with development commencing shortly after in early 2019.
First ore is expected to be produced from underground in mid-2019 and stockpiled on the surface until processing recommences in the December quarter of 2019.
Cash outflow to recover first ore is estimated at A$25 million (US$18 million). One of the first priorities underground is to establish a drill position to target further extensions along strike and at depth as geologically mineralisation is open under all three open-cut pits.
Most major equipment required for the underground has been purchased and is currently undergoing refurbishment.
Recruitment of experienced underground operators and support crew has also commenced.
Alkane has a wider regional development strategy for the Tomingley and Peak Hill area with an extensive exploration programme continuing over the remainder of the year.
Open-cut operations will continue on day shift at Tomingley gold operations until early 2019, as exposed ore is removed from the base of the pits.
In addition, processing of medium-grade stockpiles will continue until approximately April 2019 and then resume on underground ore.