Gold Bugs Scratch Precious Metal Itch at Diggers & Dealers

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: The big hitters were out and about in Kalgoorlie this week with the usual suspects delivering the latest news on the industry’s glittering prize.

Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) was in an instructive mode when the company’s exploration general manager Fraser MacCorquodale strode to the Diggers & Dealers stage on Day One.

MacCorquodale suggested grassroots explorers should think about linking up with his company as it continues its search for new drill-stage projects in Tier 1 locations around the world.

Such a move, he said, would hold the promise of the advantages of Newcrest’s high levels of technical capability, its flexibility in adopting partnership styles and, “experience in quickly transforming opportunities into long-term mines”.

McCorquodale highlighted Newcrest’s Havieron project in Western Australia as an example that is being explored under a Joint Venture with UK-based explorer Greatland Gold.

Newcrest currently holds 70 per cent of the project, and has until the beginning of September to pay $US60 million to exercise its option over an additional 5 per cent interest.


Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN) has raised the potential for extending the mine life and greater exploration success at depth with the posting of a 28 per cent increase in copper resources at its Ernest Henry copper-gold mine in Queensland.

Evolution Mining executive chairman Jake Klein outlined progress on mine extension planning for Ernest Henry and the proposal to unify a package of assets at Mungari in Western Australia during his presentation to the Diggers & Dealers crowd.

The project’s gold resource also improved by 24 per cent.

Klein said the copper and gold increases reinforced the mine, northeast of Cloncurry, as a premier copper-gold asset while highlighting its extension potential.

A revised measured, indicated and inferred resource estimate of 88.3 million tonnes at 1.28 per cent for 1.13 million tonnes copper and 0.73 grams per tonne gold for 2.07 million ounces gold is the result of over 30,000 metres of new drilling to the end of May, depleted for mining to June 30.

The upgraded resource model will be part of a prefeasibility study, due for completion by December 2022, on a mine extension program expected to provide a pathway for mining to continue beyond 2031.


Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST) has recently reported strong progress on organic growth plans while work gets under way on planning for the expansion of processing capacity and annual production at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Kalgoorlie Super Pit in Western Australia.

A prefeasibility study released in June outlined three options for an expansion program that would cost up to $1.4 billion to expand the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines operation’s production capacity by up to 200,000 ounces per annum and reduce all-in sustaining costs by up to $200 per ounce.

Northern Star managing director Stuart Tonkin told Diggers & Dealers the company had overcome a dynamic and challenging environment to deliver progress in the first year of a five-year pathway to growth.