Australia

Beatons Creek (Nullagine) Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusCare and Maintenance
Commodities
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe plant was placed in care and maintenance by the previous owner, Millennium Minerals, in December 2019. On November 1, 2021, the Golden Eagle Mill was re-started.
In December 2021, Novo released a three-phase mine plan for Beatons Creek which comprised of:
1. Mining of the Beatons Creek Oxide mineral resource. Mining ceased in August 2022 and processing finished in September 2022.
2. Mining of the Beatons Creek free-milling Fresh Resource targeted to commence in Q3 2022 and continue through 2026, following completion of an economic Feasibility Study and granting of mining approvals from the Western Australian government and subject to a final investment decision.
3. Mining of the Golden Eagle deposit commencing and continuing through the transition from Beatons Creek Oxide to Fresh material, depending on timing of Beatons Creek Fresh mining approvals.
November 2, 2022 - The Beatons Creek Feasibility Study has been deferred due to current uncertain economic and regulatory condit

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Calidus Resources Ltd. 100 % Indirect
The Beatons Creek Project area is held through 16 granted and predominantly contiguous tenements totalling 159.7 km²; the tenements include Exploration, Prospecting and Mining Leases held by Nullagine Gold Pty Ltd (12 Exploration and Prospecting Licences); by Grant’s Hill Gold Pty Ltd (four Exploration and Prospecting Licences and one Mining Lease); and Beatons Creek Gold Pty Ltd (three Mining Leases) for durations of four, five and 21 renewal years. Nullagine Gold Pty Ltd, Grant’s Hill Gold Pty Ltd, and Beatons Creek Gold Pty Ltd are all wholly-owned subsidiaries for Novo Resources Corp.

On December 20, 2023, Novo Resources Corp. completed the sale of its Nullagine Gold Project (NGP) to Calidus Resources.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Conglomerate hosted

Summary:

PROPERTY GEOLOGY
Diamond drilling during the 2018 field season confirmed the Nullagine sub-basin subdivision of the Hardey Formation by Blake (2001). Mineralisation is restricted to a ~200 m sequence of poorlystratified, poorly-sorted, polymictic, pebble-to-boulder ferruginous conglomerate sequence (P4), which is restricted to an area within a few kilometres of Nullagine (Figure 7.4). The underlying sequence (P3) is of similar composition, but generally finer and including sandstone beds and minor tuffs. The overlying sequence was not separated by Blake and resembles the lower sequence (P3). These beds are characterised by a more regular sediment input and range between sandstone to pebble-conglomerates with a number of extensive tuff horizons.

PROPERTY MINERALISATION
Gold mineralisation within the Beatons Creek conglomerates occurs as fine grains, larger flakes, and rounded particles up to several millimetres across, but rarely exceeding 2 mm. Coarse and fine gold is spatially related to higher concentrations of pyrite, and there seems to be a correlation with gold and the ‘buckshot pyrite’ clast size. Coarse gold particles are regularly visible, and fine gold can readily be panned from crushed matrix material with large pyrite concentrations.

Mineralisation is restricted to fluvial type channel conglomerates or marine lag reworked conglomerates and readily recognisable from outcrop and drill core. The wider Beatons Mineralised unit and Beatons Middle unit contain minor disseminated pyrite, but the background mineralisation is generally no more than 0.1 g/t gold.

DEPOSIT TYPE
Both fluvial and marine lag-type conglomerates are interstratified, indicating the depositional facies in which they formed were laterally proximal. The depositional environment for these conglomerates is interpreted to have been a river fan delta along a coastline as shown in Figure 8.1. During periods of low-stand, a braided river delta prograde seaward, depositing channelised fluvial type conglomerates.

As sea levels rose, wave action winnowed out fine, light sediment leaving behind a transgressive armoured lag deposit of large siliceous boulders and heavy minerals including gold. It is in this environment that the economic conglomerates at the Beatons Creek Project likely formed. This process repeated several times to create the interbedded conglomerates exposed currently.

The Palaeoplacer deposition model employed by Novo for the Beatons Creek Project is based predominantly on detrital gold sourced from the nearby Mosquito Creek Formation and deposited locally. Mineralisation is further concentrated by reworking an already endowed sequence of conglomerates by marine processes as described above.

Similarities with other conglomerate hosted deposits of similar age lends credence to the mineralisation model used. The presence of significant concentrations of rounded detrital pyrite was also a factor in reef and model identification, with the best exploration success primarily driven by understanding the sedimentary processes and their effect on concentrating gold. A clear correlation between high depositional energy (in channels) and amount of reworking (for marine lags) and gold content allows for a fairly straightforward depositional model to be successfully employed.

Some comparable conglomerate hosted deposits debate around potential hydrothermal mineralisation either as the sole mineralising event or as an overprint (Phillips and Meyers, 1989; Phillips and Law, 1994; Barnicoat et al., 1997). Despite local remobilisation of pyrite (and potentially gold) within the matrix, possibly due to dewatering during burial or low level metamorphism, no evidence of hydrothermal overprinting has been documented at Beatons Creek or elsewhere in the Pilbara.

Other debate around organic or microbially-mediated syn-sedimentary gold precipitation (or entrapment) (Hallbauer, 1975a,b; Mossman et al., 2008) is likely of less relevance at the Beatons Creek Project due to the limited amount of organic carbon (kerogen or stromatolites) in the system, but may play an important part with other conglomerate hosted gold targets in the wider Pilbara region (e.g., Virgin Creek).

Exploration by Novo has been successful in delineating the extent of marine lag mineralisation in areas beyond 100 m below surface. High density costean sampling across the full mineralised sequence has subsequently better defined the domains where channel mineralisation is common, with most dominant channels now well defined by sampling and drilling.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

Millennium Minerals Limited has not published 2019 annual report by the time it was delisted from ASX on May 27, 2020.
CommodityProductUnits2021201820172016
Gold Metal in doré oz  ....  Subscribe
Silver Metal in doré oz  ....  Subscribe

Operational metrics

Metrics2021201820172016
Annual processing capacity  ....  Subscribe1.5 Mt1.5 Mt
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe2,129,470 t1,299,586 t1,987,690 t
Total tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe5,810,353 bcm4,539,203 bcm4,060,515 bcm
Tonnes processed  ....  Subscribe1,893,094 t1,915,962 t

Production Costs

Commodity202120182017
Total cash costs (sold) Gold  ....  Subscribe
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Gold 1,463 / oz  AUD 1,372 / oz  AUD
All-in sustaining costs (sold) Gold  ....  Subscribe
C1 cash costs Gold 1,321 / oz  AUD 1,196 / oz  AUD
** Net of By-Product.

Financials

Units202120182017
Sustaining costs M CAD  ....  Subscribe
Revenue M  ....  Subscribe 127.2  AUD 115.6  AUD
Operating Income M  ....  Subscribe -8.2  AUD -4  AUD
Gross profit M  ....  Subscribe 1  AUD 3  AUD
Pre-tax Income M  ....  Subscribe -9.4  AUD -5.6  AUD
After-tax Income M  ....  Subscribe
EBITDA M  ....  Subscribe
Operating Cash Flow M  ....  Subscribe 21.8  AUD 30.8  AUD

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Feb 5, 2021
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EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2021

Aerial view:

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