West Australian gold explorer Focus Minerals (ASX: FML) has announced progressive results from the Laverton gold project’s Stage 1 Open Pit PreFeasibility Study (PFS).
Laverton Stage 1 scenario delivers JORC 2012 Probable Ore Reserves of 12.6Mt @ 1.34g/t for 546koz gold.
Stage 1 scenario based on JORC 2012 Mineral Resource of 16.4Mt @ 1.47g/t for 770koz, just 21% of Laverton’s Total Mineral Resource of 61.3Mt @ 1.85g/t for 3.64Moz.
Stage 1 scenario using refurbished Barnicoat Mill delivered undiscounted free cash of $222M (using Australian dollar gold price of $2,207/oz) with Pre-Tax NPV of $132M1 and Pre-Tax IRR of 17.2%.
Stage 1 PFS produces 513koz of gold at average AISC of $1,497/oz.
Results increase Board confidence in larger-scale Laverton Gold Project.
Next-phase PFS work underway, using much greater resource footprint.
This first pass PFS scenario uses a selection of five open-pit resources and assumed milling at a refurbished 1.5Mtpa Barnicoat Mill. The assessment delivered positive economic value and a resultant Stage 1 Ore Reserve Statement. Recovered gold, average run of mine (ROM) grade, estimated average all-in sustaining costs (AISC) and proportioned pre-tax free cash flow, based on the PFS mining schedule, are shown below.
The Laverton Stage 1 PFS has delivered a base case and inputs for the next stage of economic assessment. Focus has successfully increased the size and quality of its Laverton Mineral Resource base over the past 12 months across the project’s 386km2 tenement position.
Commenting on the progressive results of the Laverton Stage 1 Open Pit PFS, Focus Minerals’ CEO, Mr Zhaoya Wang, said:
“This initial PFS scenario has delivered a positive economic assessment from just 21% of the Laverton Gold Project’s Mineral Resource base and is a further credit to the Focus technical team’s diligent work.
“Yet as positive as the PFS results are, they did not include the discovery by Focus late last year of additional high-grade Beasley Creek mineralisation which remains open along strike with significant shallow ounces growth potential yet to be drill tested. In addition, this first-phase study at Laverton has excluded large fresh-rock resources especially at Karridale because Focus is yet to receive back all outstanding metallurgical test work.
“Furthermore, there are a number of other deposits with grades of 2g/t or greater within our Laverton tenement package that will be updated to JORC 2012 compliance before being included in the second-phase PFS.
“The progressive PFS result is a huge step forward in optimising future production in Laverton. It has also demonstrated to Focus the need to look at increasing the mining and milling capacity to reduce operating costs and increase profitability. Opportunity exists to strategically position a future plant to improve efficiencies and further reduce handling cost.
“We recognise that the PFS process at Laverton is taking longer than shareholders would have expected. However, we believe it is vital to include our continued exploration success at Laverton to deliver the best possible outcome. Our team at Focus will now draw on the results of the first-phase PFS to optimise the scale and economics of the Laverton Gold Project to deliver a long-life and lowcost operation for the benefit of all shareholders.”