Three drill rigs undertook extensive resource development focusing on Gladstone-Everlasting, Daisy South and Scotia prospects.
Best results at Gladstone-Everlasting to date were 4 metres at 8.26 g/t gold including 2 metres at 14.23 g/t gold.
Notable results at Daisy South were 7 metres at 28.8 g/t including 2 metres at 94.2 g/t.
Despite significant bushfires in the region affecting site access, there was minimal disruption to exploration drilling which recommenced on 16 January with two additional drill rigs expected to be operational next week.
Next for Norseman
A scoping study was completed by Como Engineering over the quarter for recommencement of processing at Norseman.
Detailed inspection and testing of the existing plant components identified for re-use are planned for this month.
The expected cost to construct the plant is $25.5 million with a nine-month construction period.
Approval to re-enter the OK underground has been received with drilling commencing during this quarter.
Mine infrastructure is in excellent condition and approximately three months of drilling is planned to test 150 vertical metres below the existing decline with the aim of establishing a three-year mine inventory.
Halls Creek production
At Halls Creek total production for the quarter was 9,403 ounces of gold with AISC at $1,940 per ounce, before adjustments from stockpile movements, and unit costs were higher due to the lower than planned production.
Total expenditure for the quarter reduced by $1.1 million, excluding stockpile movements, due to the completion of open pit mining at Wagtail South in November 2019.
The open pit did not perform to expectation and was a major driver of the site’s under-performance compared with guidance during the past two quarters.
The processing plant operated well during the quarter with 58,456 tonnes processed at a head grade of 5.32 g/t gold and utilisation of 98.2%.
Recovery improved to 94% and Pantoro is focused on recovery optimisation going forwards.
Major management changes were implemented during the quarter with Tom De Vries appointed as general manager at the mine as well as a number of additional management changes at the operations level to target consistent, profitable production.
Wagtail North Underground has continued to reconcile higher than modelled and the mine is expected to be an important contributor to overall site production for the coming periods.
The new management team is focused on increasing production from the area.
Strong balance sheet
Pantoro had $31.7 million in cash and gold at the end of the quarter and remains debt free.
Major capital investments were made during the quarter including $4.1 million in exploration and project development at Norseman, $3.9 million in mine development and fixed plant; and $1 million in exploration at Halls Creek.
During the December quarter Pantoro received a final stamp duty determination for the acquisition of the Halls Creek project in 2014.
Stamp duty for the final and previously unassessed portion of the transaction is $52,110, payable in January 2020.
Stamp duty determination for the Norseman Project transaction remains outstanding.