THE first shipment of an expected $16 million in gold-loaded carbon left Beaconsfield on Wednesday, bound for extraction in Western Australia.
The precious cargo - 240 ounces, worth just under $340,000 - marks a spectacular return to processing for BCD Resources' Beaconsfield facility, which reopened last month after a nine- month hiatus.
Around 12,000 ounces of gold will be obtained from ore from the Stormont deposit, 40 kilometres south of Devonport.
BCD Resources is managing a joint venture with Torque Mining and Frontier Resources over a six- month period to extract the ore.
Mining started in December last year, and the venture is removing 600 wet tonnes of the ore a day.
BCD chairman Clive Carroll said the board was "extremely pleased" with progress, and said the 90 per cent gold recovery rate from the deposit was above expectations.
"The recommissioning of the Beaconsfield facility ... has progressed well, and is largely due to the good work of our dedicated and experienced management team," he said.
The result is good news for an industry crippled by accidents, closures and legal action.
Queenstown's Mount Lyell copper mine remains closed during the investigation into the death of 53-year-old Barminco contractor Michael Welsh at the mine last month.
The death was the third at the mine in six weeks.
Two men - Alastair Lucas and Craig Gleeson - died after falling down a shaft at the mine in December.