Northern Star expands Thunderbox with GR Engineering contract

Northern Star Resources has awarded GR Engineering Services a $101 million engineering, procurement and construction contract at the Thunderbox gold operations in Western Australia.

Northern Star Resources has awarded GR Engineering Services a $101 million engineering, procurement and construction contract at the Thunderbox gold operations in Western Australia.

The contract is related to the Thunderbox six million tonnes-per-annum expansion project, which will increase the operation’s mill output.

Former Thunderbox owner Saracen Mineral Holdings previously contracted GR Engineering at the site.

According to Northern Star general manager processing, Simon Tyrrell, the Thunderbox expansion will increase the site’s processing capacity by three million tonnes per annum.

“The Thunderbox expansion increases the operation’s hard rock processing capacity to 6.0 million tonnes per annum from the current 3.0 million tonnes per annum, and decreases processing costs as outlined in the 2021 investor day presentation,” Tyrrell said.

“Northern Star is pleased to be working with GR Engineering again, a local company with vast project delivery experience in the Australian mining industry.”

Thunderbox is part of Northern Star’s Yandal production centre in Western Australia.

Northern Star’s investor presentation unveiled that Thunderbox’s mill increase would play a part in increasing Yandal’s production by up to 600,000 tonnes per annum.

GR Engineering managing director Geoff Jones said the contract extends its long business relationship with Northern Star.

“GR Engineering is excited to continue working with Northern Star, one of the world’s leading gold producers, to safely deliver the Thunderbox expansion project,” he said.

“We have worked with the Northern Star team over many years and see this award as a strong endorsement of our proven (engineering, procurement and construction) delivery capability.”

Northern Star produced 31,761 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $1297 per ounce in the June quarter at Thunderbox.

The Thunderbox operations use open pit and underground mining methods.

The operations are located in the Yandal Belt and the Agnew-Wiluna Belt in the North Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

Northern Star sold 1.6 million ounces of gold in the 2021 financial year at an all-in-sustaining cost (AISC) of $1483 per ounce.

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