Black Cat Syndicate strengthens relationship with the PKKP ahead of Paulsens mine re-start
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Black Cat has taken another step forward at the Paulsens gold project in Western Australia after completing a review with its native title partner to modernise the native title and heritage protection agreements to include co-management principles.
Around 85% of current gold resources at Paulsens, including the existing underground mine, are located in the Pilbara on land under the traditional ownership of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama People and Pinikura People (PKKP).
Both parties have worked in a collegiate manner to update their relationship via agreements that provide significant benefits to both Black Cat and the PKKP by aligning their respective interests.
Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8) says the agreements form the basis for the co-management of cultural heritage at Paulsens with the PKKP and provide a clear pathway forward for both parties to manage their respective obligations ahead of the new WA Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.
Black Cat has also committed to a broad range of community benefits including cultural awareness training, skills training, employment and business opportunities and compensation.
Tangible benefits will accrue to the PKKP in the form of employment, training, business opportunities and compensation following a resumption of gold production at Paulsens.
“Black Cat have been provided a social licence to operate on PKKP country as they have acknowledged and committed to co-management,” said PKKP Chairman Terry Drage.
“This is a great example of how co-management works on the ground when mining proponents are willing to work with us directly and not just complain about legislation.”
In addition to the protection of cultural heritage, the PKKP will immediately become a shareholder in Black Cat through the issue of 312,000 shares.
A further 312,0000 shares will be issued to the PKKP following the commencement of commercial gold production at Paulsens.
The PKKP are highly supportive of a resumption of operations at Paulsens given the strong cultural heritage protections embedded in the agreements and the regional opportunities that arise.
“I would like to thank the PKKP Aboriginal Corporation for their co-operation in strengthening our relationship and we welcome the PKKP as Black Cat shareholders,” Black Cat Managing Director Gareth Solly said.
“We look forward to building on our relationship as we move to create a long life mining operation at Paulsens that will create significant opportunities in the region.”
Black Cat only acquired Paulsens from Northern Star Resources in mid-2022 and has been rapidly progressing drilling to expand the high-grade resource and complete mining studies to support a potential restart-decision in mid-2023.
The underground mine at Paulsens hosts one of Australia’s highest grade gold deposits, boasting 322,000 ounces at a grade of 10.1 grams per tonne gold. The mine has been on care and maintenance from a production perspective since 2018, but Black Cat has reestablished operational access to complete its underground drilling programs.
The operation has considerable existing infrastructure in place including a 450,000 tonne per annum processing facility, +110 person camp and is close to a sealed road and gas pipeline.
In parallel with the activities to support the restart of gold production, Black Cat has been turning its attention to the regional exploration potential at Paulsens which has been largely ignored over the past decade.
The Company’s first regional drilling program at is expected to commence in the second half of 2023 following the agreements with the PKKP.
This article was developed in collaboration with Black Cat Syndicate, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.