29/07/2021 - 14:00

Beament-led Venturex begins $10m drilling program

29/07/2021 - 14:00

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Venturex Resources' shares were up more than 10 per cent today after the copper-focused company announced a major drilling program in the Pilbara.

Bill Beament expects Sulphur Springs to be a bankable project by the end of 2022. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Venturex Resources' shares were up more than 10 per cent today after the copper-focused company announced a major drilling program in the Pilbara.

Venturex, now led by ex-Northern Star Resources boss Bill Beament, has allocated $10 million toward drilling its Sulphur Springs copper-zinc asset, located south-east of Port Hedland, which the company is planning to develop into a decade-long operation.

Drilling will target both the open pit and underground area, with a view to update their combined mineral resources in the second half of next year.

That currently stands at 13.8 million tonnes at a grade of 1.5 per cent copper, 3.8 per cent zinc and 17 grams per tonne of silver.

There has been no exploration and extensional drilling at the main deposit in 25 years, Venturex said.

The company is simultaneously working to secure the remaining project approvals, also expected next year.

Mr Beament, now managing director, said the dual strategy would allow Sulphur Springs to be a bankable project by the end of 2022.

“We aim to grow and advance the project at the same time,” he said.

“This approach will maximise our ability to unlock its full value, bringing forward the time to production and cashflow while expanding the mining inventory.”

Mr Beament officially joined the company at the start of July, following a 14-year stint with Northern Star, including as chairman for five years.

He announced his decision to leave the company in February, after bringing Northern Star to its multi-billion-merger with Saracen Mineral Holdings.

Venturex, which was trading at only 9 cents that month, has since grown its share price to 80 cents.

The company will need $146 million to build the Sulphur Springs processing plant and site infrastructure, and $23 million for pre-production capital costs, according to a definitive feasibility study completed in October 2018.

The project is expected to generate $2.6 billion in revenue over an initial 10.3-year operating life.

Since completing the DFS, the prices of copper and zinc have increased by about 50 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, Venturex noted.

The company is due to provide a corporate update – including a rebranding – at next week’s Diggers & Dealers mining forum, held annually in Kalgoorlie.

Its share price reached a high of 84 cents today before retreating to 80 cents, up 5.2 per cent on yesterday's close.

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