Western Australian Minister for the Environment Stephen Dawson has granted Calidus Resources environmental approval to progress the Warrawoona gold project in the emerging Pilbara Goldfield.
This is a major milestone for the company, as it aims to begin main project development at the site early in 2021.
Warrawoona is one of Australia’s significant undeveloped and highest margin gold projects, with a global resource of 21.3 million tonnes at 1.83 grams per tonne of gold for 1.25 million ounces.
This includes a higher-grade component of 14.6 million tonnes at 2.37 grams per tonne for 1.1 million ounces.
“The receipt of ministerial approval is a major milestone for Calidus and is the culmination of many years of work by the company and its consultants,” managing director Dave Reeves said.
“We can now finalise all operating permits and remain firmly on track to begin main project development early in the (2021) new year.”
Calidus’ plank is supported by the attractive indicative term sheets it has received from banks, debt and credit funds.
The company has also appointed an independent technical expert as part of the debt financing process, who has almost completed an initial draft report.
“This goal of main project development in the new year is well supported by the indicative debt term sheets we have now received.
“We look forward to working closely with the independent technical expert and short-listed financiers with the aim of securing debt funding by the end of the year.”
This comes as the Western Australian Government has entered an agreement to streamline environmental approvals to cut unnecessary delays, to boost the economy following COVID-19.
This is a bilateral agreement alongside the Commonwealth Government, which will result in an average six-month reduction in environmental approval decision-making.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to facilitate economic activity while safeguarding the environment for future generations,” Dawson said.
“The state’s pipeline of development proposals will benefit from the faster, clear and more consistent environmental assessments and approvals that we can achieve with a bilateral approval agreement.”