Pantoro Ltd (ASX:PNR) is well-placed to fund development activities at the high-value Norseman Gold Project after achieving free cashflow of $7.6 million at the Halls Creek Project for the quarter ending December 31, 2020.
With a closing cash and gold balance of $64.9 million at December 31, Pantoro has maintained its cash position quarter-on-quarter and, importantly, remains debt-free.
Production of 10,143 ounces with AISC at $1,435/ounce has outperformed guidance and the company remains unhedged with an average realised gold price of $2,540 per ounce for the quarter.
Development of the REV lode at Rowdies on multiple levels has mirrored strong drilling results which continue to extend and define the splay and parallel lode system.
High-grade drilling results for the quarter include:
- 2.75 metres at 118.6 metres gold;
- 3.60 metres at 28.09 g/t;
- 4.10 metres at 12.33 g/t; and
- 1 metre at 50.06 g/t.
Regional exploration at Halls Creek in the Kimberley region of the state's north was completed during the quarter with short programs completed at Grants Creek, Mary River and reconnaissance drilling on shallow near-mine targets at Nicolsons. Drill results are expected to be received early this year.
The delay in starting the 2020 drill season due to COVID-19 will see a number of regional programs ready to commence in April/May 2021 including the previously delayed EIS supported drilling program at the northern end of the Mary River goldfield.
Norseman Gold Project
Exploration activity at the Norseman Gold Project south of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the Eastern Goldfields has continued in accordance with the project plan.
Six drill rigs were in operation for most of the December 2020 quarter with the planned phase-II drill programs underway.
Completion of the phase-I definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Norseman project to an accuracy of ±10% has confirmed a long-life, high-margin project suitable for immediate progression to construction and then operations.
The project will include the construction of a new purpose-built one million tonnes per annum processing plant with three-stage crushing and a ball mill for comminution and a standard CIL wet plant.
EPC tender initiated
During the December quarter, the EPC tender for the detailed engineering design, procurement and construction process was initiated, with site visits undertaken by five engineering groups.
All tenders were submitted prior to the end of the quarter.
These are under review and it is anticipated that the contract to construct the plant will be awarded during January 2021.
All key regulatory environmental approvals including works approval, mining proposals and mine closure plans for the key start-up elements of the new process plant construction, Cobbler and Scotia Open Pits, and OK Underground were submitted during the quarter.
The indicative timing to receive approvals based on current guidelines should see approvals by the end of the March quarter 2021.
Scotia Mining Centre
Scotia remained a major focus of drilling throughout the quarter with extensions to the discovery at Green Lantern and excellent results from the ongoing resource development drilling at Scotia Deeps, adjacent to and below the existing mining reserve.
The Scotia Mining Centre is the primary focus of the recommencement of operations at Norseman and mining is planned to commence with a large open pit, followed by underground development with activities ongoing throughout the phase-I project life.
Drilling at Scotia remains highly rewarding with extensions to the new discovery at Green Lantern recorded during the quarter.
Greenfield exploration drilling on Lake Cowan continued with a follow-up program at the Sailfish deposit underway at the end of the period.