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Cashed-up Auric Mining makes plans for Munda gold deposit

Auric Mining is kicking off a grade control drill program at its Munda deposit. Credit: File

Auric Mining refuses to rest on its laurels, launching a grade control drill program at its Munda gold project near Widgiemooltha only days after recording one of the highest-ever gold price sales in Australia.

Earlier this week the company sold 1361 ounces from its Jeffreys Find mine at $3130 per ounce to the Perth Mint for a gross revenue of $4.26 million.

The joint venture operation between the company and BML Ventures has distributed the money with Auric receiving $2.2 million in its maiden disbursement of surplus cash from the stage one of the project.

Management plans to put its surplus cash to work by continuing with the development of its Munda gold deposit at Widgiemooltha – which it sees as its “big game” operation ­– alongside broader exploration around Norseman.

The Munda operation sits just 3km south-west of Mincor Resources’ Widgiemooltha gold project, which has a mineral resource of 4.3 million tonnes at 2 grams per tonne 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.

There are some complex geological elements within the deposit. Results from the drilling program will help us better understand these elements and the resultant gold distribution. This will aid in significantly de-risking the project and allow us to plan the next steps. Auric Mining managing director Mark English

The company says it plans to have a starter pit at Munda producing gold as early as next year before expanding the mine in 2025 and beyond.

The scoping study for an open pit operation and third-party toll treatment shows a production target of 1.67 million tonnes at 2.2g/t gold for 112,000 ounces to 2.18 million tonnes grading at a lower 1.9g/t gold from 129,100 ounces.

The 380-hole grade control campaign will cover 11,500m on a 10m-by-10m grid over a planned first stage pit area with Kalgoorlie-based Total Drilling Services contracted for the program.

With gold prices continuing to bump along above the $3000 per ounce mark, gross revenue from stage one operations at Jeffreys Find has now ticked past $20 million with further cash surplus payments expected as soon as next month.

About 160,000 tonnes of ore has already been refined at the Greenfields mill at Coolgardie which management says is on track to complete processing within the next few weeks.

The Jeffreys Find deposit boasts 1.21 million tonnes of ore grading 1.22g/t gold for a total of 47,200 ounces, with a mine life of just under two years.

Adding to the bottom line, Auric’s JV partner and experienced mining contractor, Kalgoorlie-based BML Ventures will incur and pay all costs in relation to mining the gold resource at Jeffreys Find. The two companies will then retain an equal share of the net cash surplus after the payment of all mining and processing costs, providing Auric with a substantial cash boost.

With operations at Jeffreys Find running seemingly like clockwork, Auric already has its sights set on the company’s next potential mining venture at Munda.

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