Local explorer Empire Resources is set to begin operations at its Penny’s Find gold project near Kalgoorlie, after contracting NRW Holdings to undertake mining operations at the open pit.
NRW has agreed to defer costs to Empire from the start of mining operations up to four months, and in return will earn a 9.5 per cent gold royalty for the life of the open pit at Penny’s Find.
The value of the contract was not disclosed.
Mining is scheduled to begin next month.
“The agreement with NRW now ensures the Penny’s Find gold project has adequate working capital for initial mining of the open pit,” Empire managing director David Sargeant said.
“With site works already underway and mining commencing next month, gold ore treatment through the contracted third party processor, Lakewood Mill at Kalgoorlie, is anticipated to start in early 2017.”
Empire told the market in June it planned to begin mining at Penny’s Find during the third quarter of the year.
It released a bankable feasibility study on the gold deposit, which proposed mining of a single open pit. Empire also hopes to eventually take the mine underground.
Empire holds a 60 per cent stake in Penny’s Find, with Brimstone Resources owning the other 40 per cent.
Empire shares were 2.8 per cent higher to 3.6 cents each, while NRW shares were 1.7 per cent higher to 57.5 cents each, at 10am.