Geopacific Resources plans to pour first gold at the Woodlark project in Papua New Guinea in 2022 following the completion of an extensive project review.
The company board initiated a technical review of the project under the leadership of chief executive Tim Richards, who was appointed to the role in July this year.
The review shows a 76 per cent increase in project value to $347 million at a gold price of $2200 an ounce over the 2018 definitive feasibility study.
Geopacific is set to advance its front end engineering design (FEED) with GR Engineering for the Woodlark process plant, with a 25 per cent completion targeted for March next year.
The company also transitioned to an engineering, procurement and construction approach at the Woodlark project, with GR Engineering as the preferred contractor.
Geopacific expects this would reduce the risk of building a mining team in the initial phase of the operations.
“The report is the culmination of the substantial body of work that has been undertaken over the last two years to de-risk the construction phase and enhance the performance once in operation,” Richards said.
“The Woodlark gold project is now truly construction ready, with permits in place, a preferred financier appointed and engineering and site pre-works well advanced.”
Geopacific is holding negotiations with PNG contractor HBS Machinery as the mining services provider.
The company has also selected Contract Power Australia to build, own and operate the power generation plant on Woodlark Island.
Geopacific intends to commence its geotechnical survey for the wharf and causeway next month.
Parallel to project development, Richards said that exploration would remain a key focus.
“I look forward to growing the resources at Woodlark Island as we progress into construction and first gold production in (the fourth quarter of 2022) and believe the work undertaken to date places us in a strong position to achieve this,” he concluded.