Sandfire hits record net profit after strong Degrussa copper-gold production
Sandfire delivered a record $123 million net profit after tax on the back of DeGrussa’s strong production, low costs and high copper prices during the 2018 financial year.The record profit represents a 59 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and the best ever financial performance in Sandfire’s six years of operation at the DeGrussa copper-gold mine.Sandfire sold a total of 62,918 tonnes (t) of copper and 38,510 ounces (oz) of gold in the 2018 financial year.The achievement has allowed Sandfire to almost double its year-end group cash position to $243.3 million, up from $126.7 million in the 2017 financial year.Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said the outstanding financial result capped a year which, by almost every measure, was the group’s strongest so far.
Simich said, “Copper production for the 2019 financial year is forecast at 63,000 to 67,000 tonnes, and gold production at 37,000 to 40,000 ounces at a cash cost of $US1.00 to $1.05 per pound, and we have made a strong start with production for the September quarter.
“We remain very positive on the broader outlook for copper given the metal’s supply and demand fundamentals and the underlying strength of demand from the Chinese economy.”
Sandfire retains a positive outlook for the global economy, attributing it to the rapid rise in the electric vehicle and energy storage sectors.
Over the next three to six months, Sandfire expects to bring its first new satellite copper-gold mine Monty on stream at DeGrussa. The company is on track to intersect first ore towards the end of the year, ramping up to production over the next three years.
Sandfire expects to complete its acquisition of Talisman’s 30 per cent JV interest in the Monty project by December this year.
The Monty discovery is the first significant accumulation of high-grade copper-gold mineralisation to be identified outside of DeGrussa.
Sandfire is about to commence its first exploration program on the Alchemy farm-in, following its acquisition of Independence Group’s farm-in rights over their base metal prospective tenements. The tenements lie along the strike from the DeGrussa mine and plant.
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Kalium Lakes receives green light for WA sulphate of potash project
Kalium Lakes has received Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) approval relating to the proposal and mining closure plan for its Beyondie sulphate of potash project (BSOPP) in Western Australia.The BSOPP hosts Australia’s highest-grade sulphate of potash (SOP) brine deposit, with a probable reserve of 2.66 million tonnes (Mt) at 14.2kg per cubic metre SOP.The BSOPP aims to produce 150,000 tonnes (t) of SOP per year for domestic and international sale.The approval of DMIRS, coupled with the consent of the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia (EPA) that Kalium Lakes received in May, allows it to construct, operate and maintain several project upgrades.These upgrades cover its BSOPP workshop, site access road, communication towers, accommodation camp and waste water treatment plant.
Managing director Brett Hazelden said that the approvals have paved the way for Kalium Lakes to undertake its early works construction activities this year.
In June 2018, Kalium Lakes was granted two mining leases for the BSOPP. The company is now processing the remaining approvals for the BSOPP.
Hazelden said, “Granting of these mining leases allows Kalium Lakes to maintain its development schedule with the aim of commencing construction on site in the third quarter, followed by brine extraction and evaporation in the fourth quarter of this calendar year.”
The project has been granted 15 exploration licenses, covering an area of around 2400 square kilometres 160km south east of Newman in Western Australia.
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Millennium identifies ‘breakthrough’ gold target at Nullagine using new technology
Millennium Minerals has identified a major greenfields exploration target at Golden Eagle, the company’s largest gold deposit at the Nullagine project in the Pilbara region.The discovery was executed through a new targeting methodology that represents a technical breakthrough for Millennium. It incorporates a combined 3D magnetic inversion, structural analysis and soil geochemistry.Assay results include 12m grading 0.87 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 184m, including 1m at 3.13g/t gold from 191m.Results suggest the exploration target to be a priority exploration area, with strong potential for other findings outside of existing mine areas.
Millennium chief executive Peter Cash said the confirmation of gold presence in a previously untested area was a major breakthrough for the company.
“This is an outstanding result, demonstrating that our new exploration targeting approach is capable of identifying new, high-quality exploration opportunities at depth,” Cash said.
“While most of our exploration at Nullagine has historically been directed towards outcropping geochemical targets — which have been very successful in delivering ongoing increases in resources and reserves — we believe that an integrated targeting methodology based on a mineralised system approach has the potential to unlock major new discoveries.”
While the 3D magnetic inversion models confirmed the presence of gold mineralisation at Nullagine, it also identified another key target for follow-up drilling, which will soon commence.
Cash said, “3D magnetic inversion data has never previously been used to identify gold mineralisation at Nullagine, and we are really excited to now have confirmation that this technology can successfully define new gold targets in the Mosquito Creek Basin.
“This represents an enormously important technical breakthrough for the area and Millennium.”
The new exploration methodology will now be applied across all Millennium’s tenements in the Mosquito Creek Basin, where the Nullagine project resides.
Nullagine currently produces around 80,000oz of gold per year, which boosts Millennium’s capacity to become a 100,000 ounces a year (oz/y) gold producer by the end of 2018.
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Regis Resources achieves record gold production and profit in 2018
Perth-based gold-nickel explorer Regis Resources has announced its results for the 2018 financial year (FY2018), posting new company records for gold production and net profit after tax.Regis’s main area of focus is gold projects in Western Australia and New South Wales. In WA its operations include the Moolart Well, Rosemont, Erlistoun and Garden Well gold projects and Collurabbie nickel project. In NSW, the company is developing the McPhillamys gold project in the Kings Plain district.Regis produced 361,373 ounces (oz) of gold from June 30, 2017–June 30, 2018, a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 68,500oz. Net profit after tax was up over a quarter to $174.2 million, another record for the company.As a result, the company has announced that it will pay a dividend of $40.4 million (8 cents per share) to shareholders on September 26.
The news comes during a time of considerable expansion for Regis. In addition to the ramp up at McPhillamys, the company announced at the start of August that it will develop a new underground mining operation.
The Rosemont underground development will be built underneath the company’s current Rosemont open pit gold deposit, located nearby the company’s larger Garden Well project in the Duketon area, Western Australia.
Combined, the Rosemont open pit and underground mines are expected to deliver 10.3Mt at 1.72 grams of gold per tonne (1.72g/t) over fiver years, with the underground expansion comprising 38 per cent of this figure.
“The decision to approve the first development of an underground mine at one of our Duketon operations is a very exciting step for Regis,” said Mark Clark, Regis executive chairman.
“We believe that the approved Rosemont underground operation is a robust business in its own right but just as importantly will see the infrastructure in place to grow that mine through exploration from an established underground footprint.”
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