• Calidus announces commercial production at 105,000ozpa Warrawoona gold mine
  • Catalyst Metals launches ambitious bid to consolidate multi-million ounce WA gold belt starting with $66m Vango takeover
  • Galena starts ore commissioning at Abra lead-zinc mine


“New Year, New Me”.

It’s the commonly uttered phrase of the depressed and anxious on January 1, who will make a pledge to overcome their real or imagined shortcomings via the old timey resolution.

According to an Ipsos survey a couple years ago 38% of Americans have a New Year’s resolution, 80% fall on flat on their face by the start of Feb.

The data mob has now, creepily, taken to using AI to scan social mentions to find out what those resolutions are. Get out of my timeline, marketers.

It’s only January 10 and some New Year’s resolutions have already been achieved in the mining game. As they should be; while the Average Joe aiming to lose the 15 kegs he put on in Christmas turkey and trifle is accountable only to himself, resources companies have shareholders to please.

First off the rank is Calidus Resources (ASX:CAI), up 10.45% after announcing commercial production at its Warrawoona gold project in the Pilbara.

The company delivered 191,000t at 0.85g/t for 5053oz of gold in December at unaudited cash costs of $2050/oz. For the final third of the month the gold room delivered 235oz a day, equivalent to a rate of a touch over 85,000ozpa.

“We are very pleased to have achieved commercial production and positive cashflow from the operations for the month. This is a credit to the whole team at Warrawoona,” MD Dave Reeves said.

“We are now focussing on fine tuning operations to increase throughput rates and production and we look forward to releasing guidance later this month.”

Production and cost guidance will be big focus points for investors, and it would not be a stretch to say 2022 was a bit of a slog. CAI poured its first gold in May, but faced two major Covid outbreaks in September, restricting material movement and ore production.


Catalyst launches major consolidation bid

Victorian and Tasmanian gold explorer Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) has launched an ambitious bid to consolidate 7Moz of gold resources in WA’s Mid West and revitalise an historic WA gold field.

Owner of the operating Henty Mine in Tasmania and part of a JV with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting exploring for gold in Victoria, Catalyst will merge with Vango Mining (ASX:VAN) in a 5 for 115 off-market takeover valued at $66 million.

The offer has a 70% minimum acceptance condition but has been backed by Vango’s board and most of its shareholders, with 73% of shareholders already noting their intention to accept the bid.

That includes 19.99% from major shareholders and directors Hunter Guo and Carol Zhang, who have entered into binding pre-bid acceptance agreements with Catalyst, while Collins Street Value Fund, holder of ~$9m in convertible notes in Vango would roll them over into Catalyst should it mop up 100% of the target.

Vango boasts 1Moz at 3.3g/t in the Marymia-Plutonic Belt over 40km of strike. But Catalyst, led by MD James Champion de Crespigny — son of former Normandy Mining boss and gold royalty Robert Champion de Crespigny — has also announced it is in commercial discussions with Toronto-listed Superior Gold to acquire the adjacent Plutonic Gold Mine.

That operation, formerly owned by Barrick and Northern Star (ASX:NST) boasts a 6Moz resource, 600,000oz reserve, 3Mtpa carbon in leach processing plant and was slated to produce 62,000-65,000oz in 2022.

“This transaction is important for Catalyst and Vango shareholders. It turns a new leaf for the future of both companies. The combined group will have the financial strength and technical expertise to unlock the value of the prospective Marymia tenement,” Champion de Crespigny said.

“There is immense potential to create significant value for all shareholders by driving an aggressive exploration strategy on what has already proven to be a +15Moz Australian gold belt.”

Vango executive chairman Bruce McInnes said the company’s board supports the bid unanimously. CYL says it is equivalent to 5.2c a share, a 19.1% premium to Vango’s Jan 6 closing price of 4.4c and 33.5% up on its 30 day VWAP of 3.9c.

Vango Mining (ASX:VAN) and Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) share prices today:



Galena yells ‘open sesame!’ at Abra mine

WA’s only operating lead and zinc mine is heading into production ramp-up and first concentrate production this month after completing ore commissioning on Monday.

Galena Mining (ASX:G1A) boss Tony James said the first shipment of product from the operation was on track for the first quarter after hitting the milestone at the underground operation at the 60% owned JV with Japan’s Toho Zinc.

The company said practical completion of the process plant at Abra was finished ahead of schedule shortly before Christmas.

On the bourse it was a mixed morning for the big miners, with battery metals stocks the top performers.

The ASX materials sector treaded water, down 0.14% at 12.25pm AEDT, with Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and South32 (ASX:S32) the standout large caps.

Ground Breaker share prices today: