Red River plots Hillgrove gold restart with acquisition

The Hillgrove site. Image: Red River Resources/Bracken Resources

Red River Resources will acquire the shuttered Hillgrove gold-antimony project in New South Wales from Bracken Resources for $4 million in shares.

Melbourne-based Red River, best known for restarting the Thalanga zinc-copper project in central Queensland, stated it had been working on acquiring Hillgrove for the past six months.

The historic gold mine was placed on care and maintenance in 2016 due to flagging antimony prices and now employs a workforce of just five people.

Hillgrove has received more than $180 million in investment since 2004 from previous owner Straits Resources and Bracken, which acquired Hillgrove from Straits for $33.2 million in 2013.

Red River’s purchase is in keeping with the strategy the company employed when it purchased the Thalanga mine from former owner Kalanga in 2016, a site that had been on care and maintenance since 2012.

The company transformed the site back into a producing mine, posting production records for zinc, copper and lead in April 2019.

Red River managing director Mel Palancian said the company could fund near-term commitments for Hillgrove from its existing cash balance and ongoing cash flow.

“We love gold and bringing mining assets back to life cheaply,” Palancian said. “It’s rare to find a high-grade gold asset that is close to production with quality resources and infrastructure.”

Hillgrove has a reported JORC 2012 mineral resource of 2.8 million tonnes at 5.1 grams of gold per tonne and 1.7 per cent antimony for 459,000 ounces of contained gold and 48,000 tonnes of antimony.

Red River stated the company may also convert earlier reported JORC 2004 mineral resources in accordance with the JORC 2012 code.

Palancian added the company would prioritise the development of Thalanga as it moved Hillgrove towards an optimised restart study.

“We will continue to focus on production and growth at Thalanga as there is an exciting future ahead with significant growth potential,” Palancian said.

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