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Auric Mining primed for first gold processing campaign of 2024

Ore being transported at Auric Mining’s Jeffreys Find gold mine. Credit: File

Auric Mining (ASX: AWJ) is set to kick off its first milling campaign for the year with an initial parcel of about 40,000 tonnes of ore from its Jeffreys Find gold mine near Norseman to begin toll treatment as soon as next week.

The company plans to extract a minimum 300,000 tonnes of ore from the deposit in Western Australia’s Goldfields region as a follow-up to a profitable first phase that delivered it more than $4.7 million in free cash.The latest stage of mining at the site launched last month with more than 18,000 tonnes of ore from Jeffreys Find already transported to Greenfields Mill in Coolgardie by joint venture partner BML Ventures.

The company produced roughly 9740 gold ounces during two 2023 mining campaigns with BML, returning total revenue of $29.28 million for the first stage of the two-year project.Auric says BML extracted 176,000 tonnes of ore from Jeffreys Find last year, with almost $10 million total surplus cash generated between the two companies. After completing the final phase of mining, the two partners will subtract all costs before again splitting the surplus cash proceeds on a 50:50 basis.

First cash from the latest phase of mining at Jeffreys Find is expected in the last quarter of this year and further cash in the first quarter of next year.

The ambition is to process in excess of 300,000 tonnes in 2024, nearly double that of 2023. Our joint venture partner is operating on an around-the-clock basis with larger equipment to expedite mining. The first parcel of approximately 40,000 tonnes is due to be toll treated imminently which is great news. With a gold price around $AUD3,500 an ounce the timing is perfect.
Auric Mining managing director Mark English

The gold producer’s first mining campaign at Jeffreys Find saw 36,180 dry metric tonnes processed at a reconciled head grade of 1.58g/t gold for 1721 ounces at a calculated recovery of 93.04 per cent. During the following phase, 139,685 dry metric tonnes were processed at a head grade of 1.93g/t for 8020 gold ounces at a recovery of 92.58 per cent.

The company plans to put its surplus cash to work by continuing with the development of its Munda gold deposit, alongside broader exploration around Norseman. A Munda scoping study outlined a cashflow surplus of $76.9 million under a base-case scenario using an assumed gold price of $2600 per ounce. Today’s Australian gold price is sitting at more than $3500 an ounce.

Earlier this year the company recorded multiple high-grade intercepts from grade-control drilling at Munda, including a 1m hit grading 184.6 grams per tonne gold. Auric now has plans in train to have a starter pit at Munda producing gold as early as this year, before expanding the mine in 2025 and beyond.

The site sits just 3km south-west of Mincor Resources’ Widgiemooltha gold project, which has a mineral resource of 4.3 million tonnes at 2g/t tonne gold for 273,600 ounces.

Auric appears to have timed its first mining and processing campaign at Jeffreys Find for the year to perfection with the spot price of the precious yellow metal currently sitting at dizzying heights of more than $3500 per ounce.

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