AUSTRALIA’S newest gold mine, Havilah Resources’ Portia project in South Australia, is off to a flying start with the company targeting its first gold pour in just over 12 months. Mining of the Portia open pit started on schedule and on budget on March 30 with site preparation works completed by contracting partner Consolidated Mining & Civil (CMC) in record time of about six weeks.
“We are off to a very good start at Portia and are expecting gold production beginning by July 1, 2016,” Havilah’s managing director Dr Chris Giles, told delegates at the Paydirt 2015 South Australian Resources and Energy Investment Conference.
“The 50-person Portia camp and associated workshop are fully operational with 40 personnel already on site. Workers are being bussed in and out of Broken Hill on a 10-day on and 5-day off roster.”
Completed site works also include an airstrip and significant upgrading of access roads.
Havilah is undertaking mining of the Portia deposit under an innovative mining and funding contract with CMC, a leading Broken-Hill based mining and civil contracting group.
Chris Giles says CMC’s mining schedule sees first gold ore delivered to the processing plant by June 2016. “With this mining and financing arrangement in place and based on the current gold price and exchange rates, the Portia gold mine stands to deliver substantial returns to Havilah in 2016.
“Under the contract terms, Havilah will not be required to raise additional capital to meet its obligations because all mining costs will be funded by the contractor, including the rehabilitation bond obligation.
“Havilah is in effect sharing a portion of the gold revenue with the mining contractor, which will fund the cost of delivering the gold ore to surface for processing. This allows the Portia project to proceed without Havilah taking on onerous conventional loan terms or a significant dilution of existing shareholders as a result of issuing additional equity.
“This will put Havilah in a good position to advance development of its other projects, including the much larger neighbouring Kalkaroo copper-gold deposit,” Chris Giles added.