07/01/2008 - 12:31

View Resources, Norton boost gold production

07/01/2008 - 12:31

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Perth-based gold miner View Resources Ltd and Queensland's Norton Gold Fields Ltd have posted strong production increases from their Western Australian operations.

Perth-based gold miner View Resources Ltd and Queensland's Norton Gold Fields Ltd have posted strong production increases from their Western Australian operations.

View Resources' Bronzewing mine has increased its December quarter gold production by 45 per cent to 25,400 ounces, the company announced today.

Gold and copper producer Norton, meanwhile, has revealed that its Paddington Gold Mine in Kalgoorlie produced 63,020 ounces of gold during the 14-week period from 25 August 2007 to 31 December 2007.

Norton acquired the Paddington Gold Mine from the Barrick Group in August 2007, and said the mine had performed well above plan ever since.

Statements from View Resources and Norton appear below:

 

View Resources Ltd (ASX: VRE) is pleased to announce that its Bronzewing mine produced 10,300 ounces of gold in December, as the ramp up to steady production progresses to achieve the targeted +120,000 ounces per annum.

December quarter's production increased by 45% from the previous period (17,500ozs) to 25,400 ounces on the back of both underground mines starting to move into a stoping production phase by mid December.

Managing Director Tim Gooch said "The turnaround at Bronzewing in this last quarter, and in particular in December, is attributable to achieving more consistent ore supplies from four sources.

This has had an immediate impact on throughput, head grade, recoveries and ultimately gold output. Over the next few months we will continue to work hard to build stockpiles of ore and ensure that throughput and production remains consistent.

What is most heartening is that the key feasibility study assumptions are reporting as modelled and this gives us confidence as the project moves forward."

172,631 tonnes of ore at 1.96g/t were treated through the plant in December with an average recovery of over 93% as the processing facility moves towards its full rated capacity of 2.2 million tonnes per annum.

With ore now being sourced consistently from four sources (two underground mines, the Calista and Discovery, and two open pit mines, the Central and Success) the optimum mix of fresh and oxide ore into the plant has generated this increasingly higher throughput rate.

Coupled with the high gold recovery View is confident that these key production statistics can be maintained going forward to consistently achieve the forecast +10,000 ounces of gold per month.

As a result of Bronzewing site management's focus on efficiency, overall costs will start to reduce in line with the completion of the Discovery underground capital development programme and the main waste pre-strip at the Central open pit.

As a result staffing numbers are being reduced, equipment demobilised and associated on-costs such as, fuel, flights and other overheads are dropping to reflect the lower activity levels.

In addition View's locked in lower fuel price for 70% of monthly requirement is saving the Company approximately $200,000 per month and this will continue until the end of 2008.

With a combination of increased revenues from rising production and higher gold prices aswell as decreasing overall costs Bronzewing will quickly move into a cash positive position in the first quarter of 2008.

"As a result of our determined efforts we have managed many of the challenges we faced in the ramp up period at Bronzewing.

We believe the project is on track to consolidate production in 2008 and therefore strengthen the Company's cashflows.

This will enable View to renew its focus on exploration and consolidation, adding further value to the Bronzewing Gold Project and the Company well into the future," Mr Gooch added.

View Resources owns 100% of the Bronzewing Gold Project in the northern Goldfields which is currently producing at the rate of 120,000 ounces a year, from the 2.2 million tonnes per annum plant.

The life of mine plan indicates mining 478,000 net ounces of gold at an operating cost of $574 per ounce for net cash of $125 million from an initial four year mine life (based on a $950 per ounce gold price), with significant upside if gold prices increases with the Company being totally un-hedged.

The Company has nearly 1,500 square kilometres of tenements in the area and a stated goal to add a minimum of 100,000 ounces of new reserves each year to replace those it mines. The Company is also looking to continue its regional consolidation as well as potential corporate opportunities to move towards becoming a mid tier mining house.

 

Above plan Paddington gold production of 63,020 oz in first 14 weeks
Key points
- Norton Gold Fields Limited acquired its Paddington Gold Mine at Kalgoorlie from
the Barrick Group on 24 August 2007.
- Since the acquisition, the mine has performed well above plan.
- Norton is now one of Australia's largest independent gold producers with annual
output of greater than 150,000 oz.

Norton Gold Fields Limited ("Norton")(ASX code NGF), today announced that its Paddington Gold Mine produced 63,020 ounces of gold during the 14-week period from 25 August 2007 to 31 December 2007.

"Since Norton acquired Paddington the site team has done a great job of executing the initial operating plan and has achieved well over our original budget. This result is a credit to the Paddington team," Chairman, A. Anthony McLellan, said.

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