01/08/2017 - 14:23

Millennium considers $46m spend on plant upgrades

01/08/2017 - 14:23

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Junior miner Millennium Minerals could spend up to $46 million upgrading the processing infrastructure at its Nullagine gold operation to achieve a higher quality of output.

Millennium considers $46m spend on plant upgrades
Existing processing infrastructure at Millennium's Nullagine gold operation.

Junior miner Millennium Minerals could spend up to $46 million upgrading the processing infrastructure at its Nullagine gold operation to achieve a higher quality of output.

Perth-based Millennium estimates it will cost between $40 million and $46 million to establish an integrated carbon-in-leach and floatation plant at Nullagine.

The updated infrastructure would achieve throughput of about 1.5 million tonnes per annum treating 100 per cent fresh ore only, as opposed to the plant’s current capacity of about 2mtpa treating only 20 per cent fresh ore and 80 per cent oxide.

Millennium said the incorporation of the floatation circuit would produce a precious metal concentrate grading of up to 60 grams per tonne of gold, with processing costs for free-milling of fresh ore to come in at about $19/t.

That’s $2/t higher than the plant’s existing processing cost for mostly oxide ore.

Chief executive Peter Cash said the processing results were a significant breakthrough, with the potential to deliver a step-change in Millennium’s growth profile at Nullagine.

“The ability to process any ore type at Nullagine in the future as and when our mining schedule determines will gives us unparalleled ability to exploit the vast resource inventory across the project,” he said.

“It will also allow us to fast-track the development of new open pit and underground ore sources which are currently being drilled.

“This breakthrough delivers flexibility to mine whichever deposits we wish at any time, tailoring the process flow sheet as our mining schedule changes, thereby allowing us to immediately undertake optimisations on a much broader range of deposits than previously envisaged.

“We can now see a pathway to achieve our objective of establishing a production profile of more than 100,000 ounces per annum at Nullagine with a plus five-year life, establishing a long-term gold business which has a significantly greater scope than the current open pit oxide gold operation.”

Meanwhile, gold-focused KIN Mining told the market today it had entered into an agreement for the purchase of a 2.5-megawatt ball mill from Macca-Interquip for use at its Leonora gold project.

In a statement, Kin said it would have saved about $3.8 million by purchasing the infrastructure second-hand.

Millennium shares were 2.7 per cent higher to 18.5 cents each at the close of trade, while Kin shares were unchanged at 32 cents each. 

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