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Auric Mining to kick off second phase production at Goldfields gold mine

Updated: Apr 17

Auric Mining has completed grade control drilling at its Jeffreys Find gold mine. Credit: File

Auric Mining has hit the ground running in 2024 with toll mining set to recommence at its Jeffreys Find gold mine near Norseman in Western Australia as soon as March following its successful finish to last year.

The company produced more than 9740 ounces during two mining campaigns with joint venture (JV) partner BML Ventures in 2023, returning a total gold revenue of $29.28 million for the first stage of the two-year project.

Management says its total cash surplus for the company during the two stage-one mining operations came to more than $4.7 million after GST and splitting the proceeds with BML.

BML has now completed a grade control drill program at the operation and is awaiting pending assay results before finalising the parameters of the second stage open pit which is expected to be substantially larger than the first.

Mining equipment is scheduled to mobilise on-site next month with all mine approvals in place, while BML is in final negotiations with a toll mill for processing multiple gold campaigns during 2024.

Management says it has paid $1 million as a working capital contribution to BML, with the JV partner incurring and paying all additional mining costs and expenses. After completing the next final phase of mining, the two partners will subtract all costs before splitting the surplus cash proceeds on a 50:50 basis.

Last year Auric revealed it had sold 1264 ounces at a record price of $3131 per ounce to the Perth Mint for a gross revenue of nearly $4 million.

High gold prices added a significant sweetener to the first year’s final tally, with the JV selling its wares at a glittering average price of $3006 per ounce. And it believes it will reap at least similar numbers from the second phase.

While final numbers are not yet decided, management believes substantially more tonnes of gold ore will be mined in 2024 compared to the previous year. The first stage pit in 2023 was designed on a base gold price of $2600 per ounce. The new pit design is based on $2900 per ounce with the current gold price sitting at about $3070 an ounce.

Jeffreys Find is a straightforward deposit. We do not expect any surprises. Our second gold campaign of 2023 averaged 1.93g/t. With the AUD gold price remaining above $3,000 per ounce, a similar or better result on Stage Two of Jeffreys Find would be a terrific result for Auric. Auric Mining managing director Mark English

Management says revenue from the Jeffreys Find project will allow the company to inject millions of dollars into its ongoing development – and more specifically at its 100 per cent-owned Munda gold deposit near Widgiemooltha.

Munda hosts a resource of about 198,700 ounces of gold at a grade of 1.38 grams per tonne and is conveniently located about 34km south-west of the mining town of Kambalda. It sits just 3km south-west of Mincor Resources’ Widgiemooltha gold project, which has a mineral resource of 4.3 million tonnes at 2g/t gold for 273,600 ounces.

A recently-released scoping study on Munda outlined a cashflow surplus of $76.9 million under a base-case scenario, using an assumed gold price of $2600 per ounce. Today’s gold price in Australia is still hovering up near $3070 an ounce.

Auric has already launched a grade control drilling campaign at the deposit and plans to have a starter pit producing gold this year, before expanding the mine in 2025 and beyond.

The company says its intentions are to pull out up to 120,000 ounces over a three-year period at Munda with mining scheduled to kick off in the second half of this year.

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