Emmerson Resources, with project partner Evolution Mining, has secured final approvals from the Northern Territory Government to launch production at the Edna Beryl gold operation in the Tennant Creek area.
Edna Beryl, the NT’s first new gold mine in more than a decade, will be mined under a ‘tribute agreement’ by Edna Beryl Mining Company, which Emmerson described as an operator specialising in small mines.
A high-grade prospect, the first 600 tonnes of development ore at Edna Beryl averaged 40 grams a tonne of gold.
According to Emmerson, the mining activities will be undertaken in shallow mineralisation that was identified during exploration.
Drilling in 2016 extended this mineralisation, opening the possibility of either expanding the current mining area or contemplating a larger scale development – if the next round of drilling is successful.
Emmerson managing director Rob Bills said launching production at Edna Beryl was a pivotal step for the company, which has been exploring the Tennant Creek mineral field since 2008.
“It not only provides a revenue stream but establishes a template for unlocking value in many of our other projects contained within our extensive 3000 square kilometre tenement package,” Bills said.
“We believe this tribute style of agreement maximises value and mitigates risk whilst providing great insights for our near mine and regional exploration programs.”
Emmerson believes the tribute agreement provides several advantages, including a risk-free income stream from its non-core assets via a royalty agreement that is proportional to the gold extracted.
The Edna Beryl mine provides a launching pad for the NT Government as it progresses a feasibility study into the development of a common user mine and processing facility at Tennant Creek.
NT minister for primary industry and resources Ken Vowles welcomed the mine to Tennant Creek, adding the government was focused on developing the region as the mining services hub of the Territory.
“This investment will help further development of the mining and mineral exploration industry Tennant Creek region,” Vowles said.
“The cyclical nature of the industry means that investing in mineral exploration now is vital to ensuring the discoveries that will become the mines of tomorrow are made.”