Gold miner Newcrest approves $146m to develop Havieron project in WA
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Gold company Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) has taken another step forward in its Havieron gold-copper project in WA after approving $146m of funding for initial works at the operation.
Havieron is a joint venture with London-listed precious and base metals explorer Greatland Gold which has a four-stage farm-in agreement with Newcrest to develop the Havieron gold-copper resource in WA’s Paterson region.
Newcrest Mining has received regulatory approvals to start key early works at the Havieron project. These include the construction of a box cut, exploration decline and supporting infrastructure such as evaporation ponds, maintenance workshops, fuel facilities and administration building.
“We continue our journey towards potentially achieving commercial production from the Havieron project within three years from the commencement of the box cut and exploration decline,” said Newcrest Mining director and chief executive, Sandeep Biswas.
Newcrest Mining can earn an interest of up to 70 per cent in the Havieron project by completing a series of development milestones and spending $US65m.
The ASX gold miner announced in November it had met the stage three expenditure requirement of $US45m under the joint venture agreement.
It is therefore entitled to earn an additional 20 per cent interest in the project taking Newcrest Mining’s interest to 60 per cent to Greatland Gold’s 40 per cent.
Ore from Havieron is to be processed at Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold mine located 45km to the west of the project.
Greatland Gold’s discovery of the Havieron prospect together with Rio Tinto’s Winu find has triggered intense exploration activity in the Paterson gold province.
“Mineralisation remains open in multiple directions outside of Havieron’s initial inferred mineral resource estimate and with infrastructure in place at our nearby Telfer mine, we are excited about this growth project,” said Biswas.
The project’s initial inferred mineral resource estimate is 52 million tonnes at 2 grams per tonne gold and 0.31 per cent copper for 3.4 million ounces of gold and 160,000 tonnes of copper.
The resource has the potential to grow over time with additional planned drilling activity.
Further regulatory approvals are required to start development of any operating underground mine and infrastructure at Havieron.
Newcrest Mining entered into a loan agreement for $US50m with Greatland Gold to fund its share of early works and feasibility studies for the Havieron project.
In other gold news for Australia, Okapi Resources (ASX:OKR) has completed due diligence for the Enmore gold project in north-eastern NSW.
Okapi Resources can proceed with its plan to acquire the project near the historic Hillgrove antimony-gold mine from Providence Gold and Minerals.
Enmore contains two advanced walk-up drill targets in Sunnyside and Bora, and a number of high quality exploration targets.
Rock chip sampling showed widespread gold occurrences at the project including 0.45m at 234 grams per tonne gold.
“The drill ready and high grade nature of these exciting gold projects has justified Okapi in taking the next step forward with the Enmore project,” executive director, Andrew Shearer, said.
The company plans to spend $200,000 on an exploration program for Enmore involving 1,000m of drilling.