• Challenger Gold’s Hualilan project will have lowest carbon intensity of any gold project on the ASX
  • Emissions of 0.1 CO2e/oz is about six times lower than the Australian average emissions intensity
  • Project already forecast to be one of the lowest cost gold producers


Special Report: With mining projects coming under close scrutiny for their carbon emissions, Challenger Gold can cheer independent modelling which found that its Hualilan project will be the cleanest gold project listed on the ASX.

The Hualilan project in Argentina already delivers plenty of positives, starting with its existing resource of 2.8Moz gold equivalent (AuEq) that includes a high-grade core of 1.6Moz at 5g/t AuEq.

Challenger Gold’s (ASX:CEL) recent scoping study has already outlined the potential for the project to deliver annual production of 116,000oz gold, 440,000oz silver and 9,175t of zinc (141,000oz AuEq) to deliver $1bn in earnings over a seven year mine life at a low all-in sustaining cost of US$820/oz.

This low production cost coupled with high gold prices led a prominent Argentinean businessman to inject $5.6m into the company through a private placement and led to a further $4m placement by a new investor on the same placement terms.

There is also exploration upside, with CEL uncovering a large 20km2 copper anomaly to the southeast of the main resource while metallurgical test work has proven that strong zinc recoveries can be achieved from ores with head grades as low as 0.4% zinc.


GHG emissions intensity comparison. Pic: Challenger Gold


Lowest carbon intensity

CEL has now added another point in Hualilan’s favour with independent carbon modelling demonstrating that it will be the lowest carbon intensity gold mine listed on the ASX, boosting its ESG credentials.

The modelling by Mining Plus forecast that the project would have an emissions intensity of just 0.1t carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per ounce of gold produced, about six times lower than the Australian average emissions intensity of 0.62t CO2e/oz and 50% lower than the next lowest producer.

It also places Hualilan well inside the lowest quartile of CO2 emissions on a global basis despite assuming traditional open pit and underground mining with the use of diesel, meaning that there is potential for further reductions to its emissions intensity.

Additionally, the company’s operations in Argentina have been certified as being carbon neutral for 2024.

“We are pleased to report the results of independent carbon modelling of our Hualilan gold project. This carbon emissions modelling shows that Hualilan will be the lowest greenhouse gas emitter of all ASX listed gold operations per ounce or production,” managing director Kris Knauer said.

“This extremely low emissions intensity per ounce is a combination of several factors. The high-grade grade nature of Hualilan, the excellent mining conditions, simple metallurgy of the project coupled with our ability to source inexpensive 100% renewable power for the project.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Challenger Gold, 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.