Imported from China, and having been stalled at Goroka for some weeks awaiting heavy-lift helicopter transport, the commissioning of the plant is intended to commence "immediately".
Full mining capacity is anticipated during the second quarter of 2016 as the upgrade is fully commissioned. Crater Gold's PNG manager, Mr Richard Johnson, stated "the Company is excited by the upcoming phase, during which we anticipate an acceleration of our process of transition from gold developer to profitable gold producer".
The plant has the ability to increase underground production capacity with a new compressor and rail-mounted rock shoveller, as well as two high speed centrifugal concentrators, two new hammer mills and gravity separation shaking tables.
The concentrators and shaking tables will also provide better gold.
The official statement released by Crater Gold said with the gold plant upgrade in place, anticipated production capability is 10,000 ounces of gold in the first full year, at an all-in cash cost of below $400 per ounce average over the mining lease term. The HGZ Project is intended as a high margin operation.
Crater Gold's managing director, Mr Russ Parker, said in a February statement:
"Our recent discovery at the South Artisan Workings (SAW) Zone represents the potential for additional mineralisation in close proximity to the soon to be upgraded plant and a potentially longer mine life operation."