Eastern Goldfields delivers first gold from controversial Davyhurst plant
A week after cash-strapped Eastern Goldfields made last-minute contractor payments to stave off a protest at the Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, the company has some good news: it’s begun supplying the Perth Mint.
Eastern Goldfields (ASX:EGS) completed the first gold-pour at its new Davyhurst plant last Thursday and delivered to the Mint the following day, a company statement said.
Eastern has been dogged by claims of late payments to contractors who worked on the Davyhurst plant.
A group of Kalgoorlie-based suppliers threatened to protest chairman Michael Fotios’ speech at Diggers and Dealers last week — but the protest was called off after a series of last-minute payments.
Eastern Goldfields is also suffering from a serious lack of cash, having only $13,000 in the bank at June 30 while spending $9.7 million n the quarter. In the previous quarter the company spent $4.6 million and had $551,000 in the bank.
Mr Fotios said the cashflow issues were due to an investor who cancelled support for a capital raising after GR Engineering Services — one of the contractors working on the Davyhurst mill refurbishment — sued the gold miner in July for alleged non-payment of $9.9 million.
At the time, Eastern Goldfields said GR Engineering stopped work on the mill in May, and claimed they found defects in the contractor’s work that delayed the mill launch.
GR Engineering, however, said the original $12.5 million budget had blown out to $18.5 million, and it had completed the work it was contracted for.
Following a successful capital raising in April of $25 million, Eastern Goldfields has so far failed to source another $3 million.
Fotios and Eastern Goldfields’ investor relations department have been contacted for comment.
Meanwhile the Davyhurst plant is up and running, treating 25,000t at one gram per ton as the plant begins to ramp up.
This month production should lift to 115t/hour, or 75 per cent of the designed throughput rate, before shifting to 150t/hour or 100 per cent of the designed throughput rate by October.