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Brightstar project boosted by $60.9m plant valuation


Brightstar Resources’ WA gold plant. Credit: File

Brightstar Resources says an independent $60.9 million valuation of its gold plant and infrastructure in Western Australia’s far northern Goldfields represents significant development advantages ahead of a potential mining restart at its Menzies and Laverton gold projects.


Management says the estimation outlines expenditure the company will not have to pay and the time it will save during the building process because it already has the existing infrastructure.


The valuation, which was delivered on an “as new” replacement value basis, comes on the back of the recent completion of a positive mine restart study on the Menzies and Laverton projects. Management commissioned the valuation as a priority in line with its required prefeasibility study work streams.


That includes examining all aspects of the refurbishment and expansion of the plant – which is on care and maintenance – to enable it to meet potential future increased throughput and production and to ensure adequate insurance cover for the assets as the company continues to evaluate its future regional development and production options.

The Brightstar Processing Plant and related infrastructure represents a significant advantage from a time and cost perspective for Brightstar as we advance towards re-start of mining operations at the Menzies and Laverton Gold Projects. The $60 million value on an ‘as new’ basis for the existing processing and associated infrastructure represents a significant cost that we do not have to incur to build our mining operations. Brightstar Resources managing director Alex Rovira

Mr Rovira says many of the components of the plant are “brand new” and have never operated since being installed, including the gravity circuit and 450kW ball mill.


Brightstar completed its mine restart scoping study early last month. It envisaged an initial mine production target of about 5.28 million tonnes at a grade of 2 grams per tonne gold for 322,617 ounces produced in about an eight-year mine life, with an anticipated average annual gold recovery in the first five years of more than 45,000 ounces and an average gold production of more than 40,000 ounces.


The positive outlook for the proposed operation, with its total project pre-production capital of about $22 million, is accompanied by its potential for an extended mine life and increased production. The company expects its staged mine plan will provide an early cashflow from the Menzies project and organically fund the restart of the Laverton operation.


Management says the scoping study outlines a low-capital pathway to production from its assets, which comprise four key deposits within Menzies and Laverton and delivers an executable life-of-mine plan. The mine plan is designed to minimise ramp-up risks and ultimately meet Brightstar’s goal of becoming a profitable gold producer in WA.


The company notes that its scoping study is intended to be a preliminary technical and economic assessment of the potential viability of the project and is based on low-level assessments with plus-or-minus 35 per cent accuracy. It says further evaluation work and studies are required before it can be sure of an economic development case.


But Brightstar says it expects to complete the development of the project as outlined in the study and the new valuation of its plant ticks another box on the mining restart journey.


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