Northern Star takes Ashburton over 1M ounces

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Northern Star Resources has increased resources at its Ashburton project in Western Australia by 50 per cent to over the one million ounce mark.

The increased Resource inventory for the Ashburton project now totals 11.6 million tonnes at 2.7 grams per tonne gold.

It comprises 318,000 ounces in free-milling ore and 689,000 ounces in sulphide ore.

The free milling ore from Ashburton will be trucked to the expanded processing plant at Northern Star’s neighbouring Paulsens project to supplement ore feed from the Paulsens mine.

The company expects this to increase output at Paulsens from its current level of around 80,000 ounces per annum to 100,000ozpa from the end of this year.

The Ashburton sulphide will be processed at a new onsite facility to produce a further 100,000ozpa, lifting the group’s overall production to 200,000ozpa.

 

Location plan of Ashburton gold project prospects. Source: Company announcement

 

The 53,000oz Ashburton Reserve comprises of 42,000oz at Mt Olympus, 8000oz at Peake and 3000oz at Zeus.

All of the reserves comprise of free-milling ore and the company currently has a maiden reserve calculation on the sulphide ore in progress.

The combined metallurgical results and the 50 per cent increase in Resources have prompted Northern Star to speed up its plans to establish a stand-alone operation at Ashburton by accelerating the resource and reserve drill out as well as further metallurgical test work and development studies.

“The fact that our drilling program has already resulted in such a significant resource increase highlights the enormous upside at Ashburton,” Northern Star Resources managing director Bill Beament said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“There is huge potential to grow resources at the half-a-dozen deposits we currently know of and then there are numerous other walk-up drill targets which we are confident will add significantly to the inventory.

“The combination of this increased resource, the encouraging metallurgical results and the exploration upside shows why we are so confident about the production and cashflow which Ashburton will bring to Northern Star as it helps underpin our growth to 200,000 ounces per annum.”