PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The board of gold miner Newcrest Mining has approved the A$146-million construction of the Havieron project, in Western Australia, following the receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals.
The investment would fund the construction of the box cut operation, exploration decline and associated infrastructure.
“We continue our journey towards potentially achieving commercial production from Havieron within three years from the start of the box cut and exploration decline,” said MD and CEO Sandeep Biswas on Wednesday.
“Mineralisation remains open in multiple directions outside of Havieron’s initial inferred mineral resource estimate and, with infrastructure in place at our nearby Telfer mine, we are excited about this growth project. Together with the support of our stakeholders, we hope to deliver significant value from the Havieron project and our other exploration prospects in the region.”
The project is operated under a joint venture (JV) agreement with Greatland Gold, with Newcrest in November last year reaching its Stage 3 earn-in expenditure requirements, having spent $45-million on exploration, and is now entitled to earn an additional 20% interest in the JV, taking its overall share to 60%.
The company can earn up to a 70% stake in the JV by spending a total of $65-million and completing a series of exploration and development milestones in a four-stage farm-in. The company could acquire an additional 5% interest at the end of the farm-in period at a fair market value.
The gold mine previously reported inferred mineral resource of 52-million tonnes at Havieron, grading 2 g/t gold and 0.31% copper, containing some 3.4-million ounces of gold and 160 000 t of copper.
Newcrest and Greatland Gold recently entered into a loan agreement, providing the JV partner with access to loan facilities of up to $50-million. The loan agreement will be used to fund Greatland Gold’s share of the early works expenditure and growth drilling activities, up to the completion of a prefeasibility study, and thereafter its JV expenditure requirements towards the completion of a feasibility study.