St Barbara will withdraw from the JV entered into with Alice Queen in 2019, in respect of exploration areas outside the existing Horn Island inferred resource of 7.9 million tonnes at 1.9 g/t gold for 492,000 ounces.
Despite being disappointed over the St Barbara decision, the company will continue to focus on Horn Island and will prioritise work to progress areas excluded from the JV in 2019 into development.
Alice Queen’s managing director Andrew Buxton said: “We have greatly enjoyed working with St Barbara over the past two years and, although we are disappointed that they have elected not to pursue further exploration work, we believe that there is significant exploration potential at both Horn Island, and the neighbouring islands in the Torres Strait.
“However, in the short term, our focus at Horn Island will remain on the areas previously referred to as the ‘excluded areas’, as we believe these demonstrate the greatest prospectivity for short-term production.”
Scoping study underway
Alice Queen has recently started a scoping study to assess the economics of a potential open-pit mining operation in the areas excluded from the JV.
Buxton said: “This focus is evident with the recent commencement of our scoping study which will focus on assessing the economics of a potential open-pit mine at the historic gold pit.”
JV information retained
The company remains committed to completing that scoping study to seek to bring the Horn Island Project into production as soon as possible.
Under the terms of the JV, Alice Queen will also have the benefit of retaining all of the information generated from St Barbara’s around $2.6 million expenditure on exploration work.