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Unwanted WA gold plot becomes cash cow for Auric Mining

Auric Mining working its Jeffreys Find gold project in the Western Australian town of Norseman ahead of a toll milling campaign.

What was once viewed by many as an ugly duckling, Auric Mining’s (ASX: AWJ) Jeffreys Find gold project near Norseman in Western Australia has become a money-making swan that is set to deliver the company another $2 million from gold sales.

Management says the financial boost that is expected to land this quarter, following a $4.7 million free cash collect from the first year of the two-year operation, will also come with a $1 million return for loan repayments. Auric and its Jeffreys Find joint venture (JV) partner, Kalgoorlie-based BML Ventures, had advanced $1 million each to the operation in working capital that will now be repaid.

The news grabbed the attention of ASX punters, with Auric’s share price jumping 15 per cent to an intraday trading high of 23c after closing yesterday at 20c.

BML, the on-ground operator for the equally-shared JV, has now completed the first of two toll-milling campaigns planned for this year at the Jeffreys Find open pit mine. The JV today confirmed that 150,000 tonnes of ore have now been toll-treated … and there appears to be plenty of blue sky ahead.

A second campaign is expected to kick off later this month, but management says a substantial 43,402 tonnes has already been transported for treatment to the Greenfields Mill in Coolgardie. BML is operating “24/7”, with an additional 30,000 tonnes stockpiled on the run-of-mine (ROM) pad at site ready to be transported to Greenfields.

We will bank $2 million this quarter, marking first proceeds to Auric from the 2024 mining of Jeffreys Find. We are exceeding our targets and with the gold price holding around AU$3,500 an ounce, the timing is perfect. Jeffreys Find will be a substantial cash producer for Auric in 2024 and 2025 and we find ourselves in a robust position.
Auric Mining Managing Director Mark English

The current Greenfields Mill agreement is to process 300,000 tonnes for the year, with 150,000 tonnes of the ore to be milled in the next six to seven weeks. It is scheduled to start on July 24 and conclude in early September.

However, because of BML’s plans to extract considerably more than that figure, it is looking to schedule further gold milling operations later this year and early next year. The JV says discussions are already underway to establish where the excess tonnage will be toll-milled.

English says the second gold campaign of the year is expected to generate more than $20 million in gross revenue for the JV, setting the stage for ongoing cash distributions to Auric.

The free cash the company is generating spells good news for its rapid advancing of another of its gold projects – the 200,000-ounce Munda deposit near Widgiemooltha. Auric has grown the resource an impressive 400 per cent since its acquisition in 2022 and remains confident that considerable exploration prospectivity continues to exist.

With its saddle bags topped up full of cash and a mission by the JV to squeeze out every gold ounce that it can before winding up the remarkable Jeffreys Find operation, it appears Auric is in the right place at the right time to benefit from leveraging off a current Australian gold price that is again sitting north of $3500 an ounce.

And considering Auric’s total estimated $1.4 million outlay for the purchase of Jeffreys Find and its subsequent drilling costs, the project has no doubt turned into a beautiful bird – and one which may also help Munda to fly.

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