Perth-based Millennium Minerals has received a $17.5 million funding commitment from Investec Australia to expand the processing plant at its Nullagine gold project in Western Australia.
Works on the plant expansion are expected to commence in the March quarter next year. The $17.5 million comprises a revolving loan facility with repayment scheduled 12 months after first availability; this will be used to expand on the current 2Mt/y carbon-in-pulp sulphide treatment processing plant, as part of Millennium’s wider plan to expand its gold production to over 100,000oz/y over a mine life of at least five years.
The company initially completed a sulphide ore expansion study last quarter, which confirmed that required capital expenditure (capex) to fund the plant modifications would cost around $40–60 million.
With the aid of an employee of MineScope Services, this capex estimate was later reduced to $12–15 million following the identification of an alternative processing method that proved to be much more economical.
Millennium chief executive Peter Cash was pleased to secure financing from Investec, citing the company’s experience with a number of high-profile Australian gold projects.
He also stated that access to the facilities would allow for further funding of the company’s developing Bartons deposit — part of an underground expansion — in parallel with the plant expansion.
“The relatively modest direct capital cost of the expansion — just $15 million — means that we can carefully manage and control our funding requirements over the next six to nine months, ensuring that we can deliver this critical expansion program on time while continuing to grow our resource and reserve inventory,” he said.
Millennium Minerals owns 100 per cent of the Pilbara-based Nullagine project, which hosts a mineral resource of over 850,000oz.