14/12/2021 - 14:10

Novo strikes forward plan at conglomerate gold mine

14/12/2021 - 14:10

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Novo Resources Corporation has upped the ante at its Beatons Creek conglomerate gold project near Nullagine in WA’s Pilbara region, after a revised mining approach delivered an optimised five-year plan through to 2026. According to the company, the revised approach delivered a higher processing grade in November of 1.58 grams per tonne against an average grade for both October and November of 1.3 grams per tonne gold.

Novo strikes forward plan at conglomerate gold mine
RC drilling at one of Novo’s projects. Credit: File

Novo Resources Corporation has upped the ante at its Beatons Creek conglomerate gold project near Nullagine in WA’s Pilbara region, after a revised mining approach delivered an optimised five-year plan through to 2026. According to the company, the revised approach delivered a higher processing grade in November of 1.58 grams per tonne against an average grade for both October and November of 1.3 grams per tonne gold.

Novo is currently mining the lower grade higher up oxide zone at Beatons Creek and is getting closer to the higher-grade honey pot in the fresh rock where it expects the grades to hold up better than in the oxide zone.

It is however subject to the whim of the government and its enormous wheels of bureaucracy and requires an additional approval to start mining the fresh rock.

The company said its new forward looking plan involves running ore from its nearby Golden Eagle deposit through the mill during the transition from the oxide to the fresh rock if government approvals were not forthcoming quickly.

Interestingly, the Beatons Creek project represents Australia’s first and only commercialised conglomerate gold project, a deposit style that was made famous with the Witwatersrand conglomerate gold basin in South Africa that is largely thought to produce about 20 per cent of the world’s gold.

Novo recently kicked off a comprehensive review of Beatons Creek and its neighbouring projects with the aim of pulling together a detailed 5 year plan that would see it mine out the oxide zone at Beatons Creek next year whilst potentially peppering that feed with some lode style gold from its neighbouring satellite deposits and some lower-grade oxide stockpiles to compliment the transitional mill feed before digging into the more lucrative fresh rock at Beatons.

According to the company, despite mining and processing rates being met since a February ramp-up, gold production fell below its expectations due to the wide-spaced grade control drilling at its high-nugget oxide mineralisation and higher mining dilution from more complex mining areas.

Novo has since fired-up a closer-spaced grade control drilling program at Beatons Creek, which looks to be delivering the goods.

The company has now fed in data from the closer-spaced drilling program along with additional data to develop its latest mining review that has brought forward an optimised production profile for Beatons Creek. The new strategy has delivered higher grades to Novo’s Golden Eagle processing facility.

The gold explorer says it has processed over 240,000 tonnes of mineralised material over the last two months with an average head grade of approximately 1.3 g/t gold and an average recovery of about 93 per cent to produce over 9,223 ounces of the precious yellow metal.

The company says it expects to punch out between 5,000 and 5,500 ounces in December for a projected total of 14,200 to 14,700 ounces of gold for the final quarter of the year.

Novo Resources Corporation Executive Co-Chairman Michael Spreadborough said:“We are pleased with the results from our detailed mining review at Beatons Creek. Key objectives of the review were to ensure we optimize our production profile and profitability as we transition between mining the Beatons Creek Oxide and Fresh resources and we now have an optimized plan for the future. Our team now has a year of experience mining the Beatons Creek conglomerate gold resource and the learnings have been incorporated into our plan.”

Novo also has a string of lode style gold deposits to the south and east of Beaton’s Creek that are in various stages of development, many of which have been throwing up some solid drill intersections. The company is also looking to develop these deposits as a second string to its conglomerate gold story.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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