Pantoro Ltd has the potential to generate strong low-risk cash flow from early production at Gladstone and Scotia open pits and OK underground mine within the Norseman Gold Project in Western Australia.
The gold miner said the simple three to four-year commencement strategy would pave the way for a long-life operation at the Norseman project.
Given the high grade of the open pits, they are well suited for haulage to a central or external mill and a number of existing mills with spare capacity have expressed strong interest to source such ore.
The company said its near term development strategy was to drill existing resources to mine-ready status.
The mining centres to be targeted first are:
- Gladstone/Everlasting (open pit);
- Maybell (open pit);
- Scotia (open pit/underground);
- Princess Royal/Slippers (open pit);
- Cobbler (open pit); and
- OK (Underground).
Pantoro plans to extend and infill mineralisation as it targets an inventory of around 500,000 ounces prior to commencement and will accumulate data for mine planning and approvals.
Drilling of first targets on Lake Cowan is underway.
Processing plant feasibility
The company said detailed feasibility for a processing plant and existing infrastructure was underway, noting that capital costs would be greatly reduced due to the extensive infrastructure already in place.
It is now focused on building adequate ore inventory to support long-term operations.
Outstanding infrastructure package
It plans to leverage the existing infrastructure package to restart the Norseman project.
The infrastructure in place includes several workshop and office complexes at the Phoenix plant, Harlequin Mine, Bullen Mine and OK Mine and on-site assay laboratory and core processing facilities.
There is also a 720,000 tonnes per annum processing plant for refurbishment and existing tailings facilities with options for expansion already engineered.
Power is supplied on-site and most mining areas are connected with overhead power.
In addition to the recently upgraded and fully sealed airstrip available for FIFO operations, it is adjacent to the major road highway network and rail access to the port of Esperance.
Modelling is underway at its Norseman Gold Project, with mineral resource estimation and ore reserve calculation expected to follow drilling at numerous mining centres.
The Norseman project, situated in a Tier 1 province about 200 kilometres from Kalgoorlie via major sealed highway, is amongst the highest grade of the large-scale Western Australian gold projects.
Consultant Model Earth geologists are helping with the interpretation of existing data and exploration targeting.
Reconnaissance drilling is underway testing multiple lake anomalies while numerous off-lake targets are being reviewed, including potential lodes proximal to the OK mine.
Norseman’s resource grade stands at 3.9 g/t comprising 15.3 g/t underground and 2.34 g/t surface, offering both grade and scale.
Gladstone-Everlasting has a mineral resource of around 1.5 kilometres in length, has a historically mined grade of 4.60 g/t and is 7 kilometres east of the processing facility.
Scotia, with a historically mined grade of 5.9 g/t of open pit and underground combined, and about 25 kilometres south of Norseman, has a mineral resource around 1-kilometre in length.
Additional drilling, targeting extensions to mineralisation along strike is underway at the Panda discovery, about 250 metres west of the current Scotia mineral resource.
The discovery has excellent potential to add mineable ounces to the Scotia Mining Centre resource base.
Production is continuing at the Halls Creek project in the State's north.
The company said updated and clear guidance for the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 was forecasting positive net cash flow for Halls Creek.
Operational cash flow has risen by 58% quarter on quarter while production expenditure has fallen by 11%, quarter on quarter.
It is also expecting production of 9,085 ounces for the coming quarters.