Stavely Minerals (ASX:SVY) says buying the old Beaconsfield gold processing plant on the cheap was an opportunity “too compelling to resist”.

Stavely will pay about $2 million for the 350,000 tonnes a year plant and associated leases in Tasmania.

The 1.2 km-plus deep Beaconsfield mine is synonymous with a 2006 underground collapse which left one person dead. Two miners were trapped for 2 weeks before they were rescued.

The mine was closed around 2012, and Stavely says it’s going to stay that way.

“The underground Tasmania mine encountered seismic activity at depths beyond approximately 700m below surface,” it says.

“Stavely Minerals has no intention whatsoever of reopening the underground mine at Beaconsfield.”

But it does mean the company now has an established processing facility, 130km by road from its high grade Mathinna goldfield.

It would cost up to $14 million to get the mothballed processing facility up to scratch, but the acquisition is a “coup”, says managing director Chris Cairns.

“Acquiring an established gold processing plant for a fraction of the cost to build and permit a new one – not to mention the potential lead time associated with permitting a new facility in Tasmania – is an exciting opportunity which provides our shareholders with exposure to the potential development of a high-grade gold business on Australia’s East Coast,” he says.

“We have seen high-grade gold assets deliver significant value for investors at projects like Fosterville in Victoria and Bellevue in Western Australia, and we believe there is a genuine opportunity to create a quality gold asset in Tasmania.”


In other gold news:


  • Venus Metals jumps 16 per cent on nearology. A few days ago, Spectrum Metals (ASX:SPX) announced a high grade gold discovery in Western Australia – and neighbouring explorer Venus Metals (ASX:VMC) is already planning to drill test targets “abutting the Spectrum tenure”.

    Venus Metals controls all strike extensions to the north and south of the Penny West discovery, it says. The news excited investors – the stock shot up almost 16 per cent to 18.5c in morning trade.


  • Vital Metals (ASX:VML) is suspending all gold exploration in the West African country of Burkina Faso citing ongoing “security concerns”.

    The government has declared a State of Emergency for several northern provinces until July 2019, Vital says. The explorer says its tenements remain in good standing, and it will update shareholders “should the situation in Burkina Faso improve and a decision to resume exploration be taken”.


  • Fellow African explorer Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI) will drill its very promising Ferkessedougou North joint venture in Cote D’Ivoire.

    The 1000m of diamond drilling will explore the shape and size of the gold mineralised body, which was recently identified through “highly encouraging” trenching results, Predictive says.

    Best results from recent trenching included 34m at 5.29 grams per tonne, and 92m at 1.76 grams per tonne.