Gold miner Newcrest has agreed to invest $146 million in the first stage of the Havieron Project in Western Australia, which it owns in a joint venture with UK firm Greatland Gold.
Newcrest on Wednesday said the funding approval follows receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals to commence construction activities at the project which is near Newcrest’s ageing but still productive Telfer mine.
“We continue our journey towards potentially achieving commercial production from the Havieron Project within three years from the commencement of the box cut and exploration decline,” Newcrest chief executive Sandeep Biswas said in the statement.
The first stage involves the construction of a box cut, exploration decline and associated surface infrastructure at project which is operated by Newcrest under a Joint Venture Agreement with Greatland Gold.
Newcrest recently released an initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for the Havieron Project of 52Mt two grams of gold per cent and 0.31% copper.
That’s an estimated 3.4 million ounces of gold and 160,000 tonnes of copper.
“Mineralisation remains open in multiple directions outside of the initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate, which indicates the possibility that the resource could continue to grow over time with additional planned drilling activity,” Newcrest said.
Newcrest, and Greatland Gold, recently entered into a Loan Agreement which will provide Greatland Gold with access to loan facilities totalling $US50 million.
This Loan Agreement will be used to fund Greatland Gold’s share of early works and growth drilling activities up to the completion of a Pre-Feasibility Study and, thereafter, its joint venture expenditure requirements towards the completion of a Feasibility Study.
Newcrest announced on November 30 last year that it has met the Stage 3 expenditure requirement ($US45 million) and is entitled to earn an additional 20% joint venture interest, resulting in an overall joint venture interest of 60% (Greatland Gold 40%). Newcrest can earn up to a 70% joint venture interest through total expenditure of another $US65 million and the completion of a series of exploration and development milestones in a four-stage farm-in over a six year period that commenced in May 2019.
Newcrest expects to complete a Pre-Feasibility Study for the project by late calendar year 2021.
Newscrest shares rose 3.1% to $26.94.