KCGM Mill Rebuild Contract Awarded

NRW Holdings, Primero Group, has been announced as entering an agreement with Northern Star Resources for the KCGM Growth Project for Engineering, Procurement and Construction. The Contract has an approximate value of $973 million. The project is aligned to the KCGM processing plant rebuild and is scheduled for completion by Q3 2026


Primero’s Managing Director, Michael Gollschewski shared “The execution of the KCGM Growth Project is the culmination of an 18-month journey with Northern Star. The work conducted to date to develop the capital cost, design, execution strategy and schedule for the project, has been one of the most comprehensive and rigorous ECI programmes we have participated in. The effort of the combined teams to define this key project has provided a solid foundation for a safe, efficient, and successful delivery.”

Primero will be responsible for the design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the process plant facilities.

Northern Star Set for May Reserve Resource Upgrade

ASX 100 Miner Northern Star Resources has delivered its March 21 quarterly activities report noting strong progress to a May Reserve resource upgrade – Which Managing Director Raleigh Finlayson mentioned on a conference call to “watch this space”. Whilst reporting that factors such as 14 day mill shutdown at KCGM modernising mill control systems, Unplanned maintenance at Thunderbox on the mill motor and lower head grades at Pogo 

Northern Star reported underlying free cash flow of A$97 million at an average realised price of A$2,222 per ounce 

Highlights from operations included 

Yandal – Jundee  Development advance was especially strong in March with a new monthly record for jumbo advance of +2,000m. 

Yandal – Thunderbox – Investment continues in a large, shallow single-stage cutback adjacent to the mill. 

Kalgoorlie – KCGM – The new underground portal was successfully cut in the “Super Pit” with development currently advancing. This is located in the Western Wall and is the first new underground activity on the Golden Mile in decades. 

A CAT 793 hauls up a ramp at the KCGM Super Pit

Kalgoorlie – Kanowna – District milling optimisation has commenced, with 24kt of Mt Charlotte ore successfully treated at Kanowna Belle, resulting in a >3% recovery improvement to 87.5%. 

Kalgoorlie – Carosue Dam – The mill delivered record quarterly throughput of 887kt. 

Pogo – The ongoing focus is accelerated decline advance to enable access to additional stoping horizons and set up diamond drill platforms to further grow the Pogo Resource. 

A new strategic road map will be presented in July. Executive Chair Bill Beament said “We have overcome a few one-off events to ensure we remain on track to meet our annual guidance This is a huge credit to our team and also reflects the underlying quality of the assets. “ 

“In addition to this achievement, there has been enormous progress made behind the scenes on several fronts. This includes the extensive exploration campaign, which will feed into the May Reserve and Resource update. This will in turn be a central plank of our Strategy Day in July.” he said 

Top Story – Bill Beament Leaves Northern Star In July.

Northern Star Resources Limited has provided an update. In their efforts to initiate a global search for an Independent NonExecutive Chair, Bill Beament will retire from the Northern Star Board, effective July 1, 2021. Mr Beament has agreed to take up an Executive Director role with Venturex Resources from July 1. Mr Beament said he fully appreciated the opportunity to help Northern Star generate exceptional results for all stakeholders. “I share the view that now is the right time for Northern Star to begin the search for an Independent Chair,” he said. “The Company is in an extremely strong position, with an outstanding team and some of the best gold assets in the world.”

Northern Star Non-Executive Director John Fitzgerald thanked Mr Beament for his outstanding contribution. “Bill has guided Northern Star through a period of exceptional growth, building a globally-significant gold company which generates substantial returns for Shareholders,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

The Northern Star Board has decided that Independent Non-Executive Director John Fitzgerald will perform the role of Independent Non-Executive Chair from then until the appointment of the new Chair.

Diggers & Dealers Keynote Speaker Announced for 2021


A former advisor to President Nelson Mandela, a key author of twenty one books and a previous Principal Economist at the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) has been announced as the Diggers and Dealers key note speaker for 2021. Professor Ian Goldin.

Professor Goldin specialises in economics and has numerous credentials on the world economic stage. After a start in Africa, Professor Goldin lectures at Oxford, Harvard and Tsinghua Universities as well as providing advisory and consultancy services to thirty leading companies. His recent speaking engagements include the opening keynote at Google Zeitgeist, the Microsoft CEO Forum and TED. For the past twenty one years he has provided keynotes at the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos. Adding to an impressive list of achievements, Professor Goldin also was a previous Vice President of the World Bank. His address at Diggers and Dealers this year is sure to be thought provoking and insightful.

BREAKING: KCGM Owners Make Joint Announcement

KCGM Super Pit Owners Northern Star Resources and Saracen Minerals have released information to the market this morning about their respective operations based on the lockdown imposed in Western Australia.
Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited and Northern Star Resources advises that it does not expect production and exploration at its West Australian operations to be impacted by the five-day lockdown measures announced yesterday by WA Premier Mark McGowan. All the Company’s operations are located outside the lockdown boundaries set by the Government. The Company will advise the market should these circumstances change. Saracen’s top priority at all times is the health and safety of its staff, business partners and the communities in which we operate and this is the basis of all its strategies for managing COVID-19.

Morning News Bites – August 18

In Today’s Morning News Bites for August 18. KCGM release their reserves, resources and guidance update for FY21. 

KCGM have set an FY21 guidance of 440,000 – 480,000oz at AISC of A$1,470 – 1,570/oz3, growth capital budget at A$198m (A$12m on exploration), and an expectation of production to rise to +675,000ozpa.  Further growth is supported by a large quantity of significant drill results across the KCGM portfolio that sit outside of current Reserves, including at Fimiston South open pit, OBH open pit, Fimiston South underground and Mt Charlotte underground.

Saracen Mineral Holdings report a new 7 year group production outlook. It was underwritten by 8.6Moz in Reserves and resources of 320Mt @ 1.7g/t for 17.0Moz as of FY20. Group production guidance for FY21 of 600 – 640,000oz at an AISC of A$1,300 – A$1,400/oz. Saracen Managing Director Raleigh Finlayson said Saracen was on track to continue the Company’s long record of growing its production and expanding its inventory, saying “Saracen’s strategy of making opportunistic acquisitions and then unlocking their full value through exploration and development has created substantial value for shareholders for many years.”

Northern Star Resources report further increases in forecast production and more growth in reserves and resources as a result of the review conducted at its half-owned KCGM joint venture in WA. Production is forecast to rise to 1.15Moz in FY22 and 1.25Moz in FY23. The increased production is expected to drive down AISC by 10 per cent over the next two to three years. Following the inclusion of KCGM, Northern Star’s total Reserves have risen 102 per cent, or 5.5Moz, to 10.8Moz. Resources are up 67 per cent, or 12.7Moz, to 31.8Moz.

FY20 results are in for BHP. US$8.0 billion and Underlying attributable profit of US$9.1 billion broadly in line with the prior year. Net operating cash flow of US$15.7 billion, above US$15 billion for the fourth consecutive year, and free cash flow of US$8.1 billion. Capital and exploration expenditure within guidance at US$7.6 billion. Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry: “BHP delivered a strong set of results for the 2020 financial year that reflect the strength, resilience and quality of our people and our portfolio. In a year marked by the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest in Chile and commodity price volatility, we were safer, more reliable and lower cost.”

Golden Swan assays confirm exceptional drill intersection, with assays received returning: 9.0m (4.5m true width) @ 10.46% Ni on basal contact including 4.6m (2.3m true width) @ 13.8% Ni. Managing Director and CEO Peter Harold said, “The latest assay and drill results confirm the significance of the Golden Swan discovery. The thick, high grade nickel intersections in combination with favourable geological setting is pointing to something very exciting. Should Golden Swan continue to evolve and prove to be economically viable, the close proximity to the existing Silver Swan decline would allow mining operations be commence in a very short time-frame.”

Morning News Bites – July 23

Today’s Industry Link Media Morning News Bites :

Blow out in the Federal Budget – WA and Mining holding it together. Gold reaches over $1870US/oz overnight and this is set to lift the market in open.

Northern Star Resources has announced its Quarterly activities report with a record 262,717oz of gold sold at an AISC of A$1,475/oz, which included the KCGM Operations. Regional exploration for Northern Star was largely suspended due to COVID-19 and this affected Jundee/Yandal, Kanowna, Pogo and South Kalgoorlie, however at Paradigm a short surface RC resource definition drilling program was completed. The Pogo operations were affected by 36 COVID-19 cases and Northern Star expects Pogo volumes to remain around the levels seen in the June quarter, equal to ~25% lower than would otherwise be the case. Northern Star’s A$10M Community COVID-19 fund has provided significant funding to assist local health services, communities and businesses in the areas Northern Star operate. The option to acquire Newmont’s Power Business has lapsed and as such multiple future power options for KCGM now being explored. Executive Chairman of Northern Star Resources Bill Beament, said “Our quarterly sales of 262,717oz was not only a record, but also very solid given the imposts stemming from the COVID-19 measures we moved quickly to put in place,”  When speaking about Pogo, Mr Beament said “Pogo sold 50,251oz in a quarter during which we managed 36 cases of COVID-19, We now have a strong insight into the impact of the virus on Pogo and it is clear that this asset will continue to produce at about 75 per cent of its potential while the virus remains in Alaska. However, the 18-month transition to long-hole stoping is finished and the benefits of this new mining method are being reflected in the results, albeit somewhat restricted by COVID-19″ Northern Star is also looking to reduce its hedging to increase margins and free cashflow. On July 16, Northern Star paid a fully franked interim dividend of 7.5cps.

Essential Metals (previously Pioneer Resources) has announced drill intercepts at its Cade deposit at the Dome North lithium project. A thick shallow high-grade intercept of 21m at 1.79% Li2O was discovered from recent RC Drilling. Essential Metals Managing Director, Tim Spencer, said “The outstanding shallow intercept of 21m @ 1.79% Li2O shows the Cade Deposit contains high lithia grades near surface, while drilling across the project has identified a number of other prospective areas for follow-up. The metallurgical test work is important for us to understand the best development route for the Dome North Lithium Project. The test work completed so far bodes well for achieving good recoveries in a DMS-flotation process route and we await completion of the second phase of test work to see if this is the case.” The Dome North project targets a 20 km strike length around 130km south from Kalgoorlie Boulder.

Copper production of 25,041 tonnes exceeded guidance for Aeris Resources as the company recorded a June quarter production of 6,672 tonnes which is a 10% increase on the previous quarter. The Acquisition of the Cracow Gold Operations was completed on July 1 which has a FY21 gold production guidance of 70,000oz – 75,000oz. with the first Aeris gold poured in early July. The copper production guidance at Tritton Copper Operations for FY2021 is between 23,500 tonnes and 24,500 tonnes. According to the company, there is cash and receivables of $69.4m at quarter end.

Record operating cash flow of A$352M, net mine cash flow A$225M and free cash flow A$188M has been reported by Evolution Mining as a June quarter highlight. Evolution produced group gold production increased to 218,104 ounces at an ASIC of A$1,088 per ounce. A breakdown of some highlights includes Cowal produced 60,594oz at an AISC of A$941/oz generating net mine cash flow of A$59.3 million. Ernest Henry produced 28,183oz at an AISC of A$(617)/oz generating record net mine cash flow of A$68.3 million. Mungari produced 37,178oz at an AISC of A$1,089/oz generating record net mine cash flow of A$39.8 million and Mt Rawdon produced 25,982oz at an AISC of A$1,305/oz generating record net mine cash flow of A$32.3 million The acquisition of the high-grade, long-life Red Lake gold mine in Ontario, Canada has added 27,428 ounces at an AISC of A$1,943 per ounce. A maiden Underground Ore Reserve and updated Mineral Resource at Cowal was made with a Maiden Underground Ore Reserve of 804koz and Mineral Resource increased to 2.9Moz Evolution Executive Chairman, Jake Klein, said: “This outstanding outcome has resulted in the potential to bring forward first production of higher-grade ore from the Cowal underground which will provide a step change to the operation’s production profile. Importantly, the Maiden Underground Ore Reserve is only a starting point on which to build on in the coming years. Our work at Cowal continues to demonstrate that this is a world class mineral system.”

Wrapping out a big day for gold operators as part fo the Morning News Bites June quarterly updates, Newcrest has released its figures for the quarter. There was a record annualised mined ore and mill throughput for the quarter at Cadia, which has been a top producer in Australia as reported by Surbiton Associates. Gold production was 7% higher for the quarter for Newcrest, Cadia again the shining light with a 21% increase in gold production compared to the prior quarter. Newcrest Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said “Newcrest has safely delivered a strong fourth quarter enabling us to meet our Group gold production guidance for the year, notwithstanding the challenges of addressing the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Cadia exceeded the top end of its production guidance range and achieved record annualised mine and mill throughput rates in the quarter, further highlighting the strength of this world-class asset.”

Cadia Mine - Morning News Bites
Cadia Mine – Orange NSW, Supplied