In late 2017, White Rock revealed the results of a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) conducted on the Mt Carrington Project, which confirmed a financially robust operation. The study was developed on the basis of a “gold first, silver later” approach to development, and followed the release of a Scoping Study on the project in 2016.
White Rock believes the prevailing gold price presents a long-term upside for the Mt Carrington Project, especially when coupled with the secondary development of the silver Mineral Resources. The PFS demonstrates significant project economics and has altogether encouraged the Company to progress towards the Definitive Feasibility Study phase.
White Rock believes the prevailing gold price presents a long-term upside for the Mt Carrington Project, especially when coupled with the secondary development of the silver resources. The PFS demonstrates significant project economics and has altogether encouraged the Company to progress towards the Definitive Feasibility Study phase.
2017 PFS highlights:
Initial 4.5-year open pit mining operation with production of 148,000oz of gold in the First Stage
1Mtpa processing plant
Free cashflow of A$36M over First Stage
IRR of 34%
AISC of A$1,236/oz
Low Capital Costs of A$35.7M
Capital payback within 22 months
The Stage One PFS confirms Mt Carrington as a viable gold project with significant potential upside in subsequent silver production and future gold and silver exploration
The PFS findings indicate a technically sound and financially viable project generating in excess of A$36 million undiscounted cashflow over the initial 4.5 year Gold First mine plan, with a strong IRR of 34%
Development to be based on the first three gold-only production open pits and a conventional whole-of-ore leach process plant with an annual throughput of 1 million tonnes
Maiden Ore Reserve of 3.47 million tonnes at 1.4g/t gold containing 159,000oz gold, supporting a project producing at least 35,000oz per year recovered gold for the proposed initial 4.5-year operation
Total forecast capital expenditure of A$35.7 million including a A$4 million contingency
Estimated average all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of A$1,236 per ounce over the initial 4.5-year life of mine, with a payback of 22 months
Highly prospective near-mine exploration potential for both gold and silver, and additional “silver-only” Indicated Mineral Resources are available for the second stage of the project’s development (Stage Two)
Stage Two presents an attractive opportunity to potentially increase the scale and overall life of the mine with minimal capital outlay. Stage Two is currently the subject of continuing studies
Directors have approved the results of the Stage One PFS, with commencement of the Mt Carrington DFS to follow. The compilation of the PFS included detailed economic analysis and further technical work building on previous studies, which determined that the best “go-forward” case was a gold first initial stage capitalising on the existing pre-stripped gold pits, tailings dam and process water facilities with a minimal capital expenditure to commence full rate production, based on a 1Mtpa process plant and 35,000oz of gold per annum for the initial 4.5-year mine plan.
The silver dominant Mineral Resource, containing some 8.3Moz in the Indicated category is the subject of further mineralogy studies, metallurgical test work and concentrate sales discussions. Mining of these silver Mineral Rresources constitutes Stage Two of the Mt Carrington project.
The PFS confirms Mt Carrington as a viable and relatively fast start, modest capex and opex project that is technically sound and economically viable, generating over A$36 million in undiscounted cash-flow over its initial stage 4.5-year life. The forecast capital cost of A$35.7 million including a A$4 million contingency makes a modest capex start-up gold project.
With this in place, the Stage Two silver phase will benefit from the already installed processing plant and associated infrastructure paid for by the Gold First stage of the project. This will further extend the life of the mine and further enhance the Project’s financial metrics.
All technical analysis was done using a US$1,275/oz gold price and a foreign exchange rate of AUD:USD 0.75.
As a key outcome from the PFS, WRM declared a maiden Ore Reserve in accordance with the JORC Code (2012) for the Mt Carrington Gold First project of 3.47 million tonnes at 1.4g/t gold containing 159,000oz of gold. Whilst this Stage One mine plan is relatively small as a stand-alone project, its economic returns and payback period are viable, with free cashflow in excess of A$36 million generated and a payback period of 22 months.
Stage Two of the project will potentially increase the overall scale of the mine and project economics, with minimal capital requirements.
Based on the results of the PFS, the White Rock Board has approved the commencement of the DFS, subject to funding. The PFS was compiled using a number of well-credentialed, independent and reputable consultants and engineering companies across Australia along with White Rock personnel.
Some of the key features of the Mt Carrington Project include:
Granted Mining Leases
1.5Mt tailings dam
750ML freshwater dam
RO water treatment plant
Access to state grid power
Site infrastructure at Mt Carrington includes granted mining leases covering 1,000Ha, a 1.5Mt tailings storage facility with capacity for expansion, a 750ML freshwater dam, a site exploration and mine administration office, a water treatment plant with 0.8ML/day output capacity, connection to the NSW State high voltage power grid that traverses directly through the Mining Leases plus existing haul roads for the gold deposits and previous processing plant foundations. Overall, the existing infrastructure underpins a substantial cost saving on upfront capital expenditure.
White Rock has also received several enquiries from parties interested in possible participation in developing the Mt Carrington Project.
Stage Two of the development of the project would incorporate the silver Mineral Resources at Mt Carrington, with a focus on the Lady Hampden and White Rock silver deposits.
Mining activities over this second stage is expected to boost the mine life of Mt Carrington by an estimated further four years.