The Australian gold mining “boom” has put a hold on Alt Resources Ltd’s (ASX: ARS) plans to fast-track development of the Tim’s Find gold deposit in Western Australia.
The company’s Tim’s Find Mine Plan (TFMP) application was based around access to a third party processing plant.
However, with gold prices remaining strong throughout the COVID-19 pandemic period, the company has not been able to lockdown a tolling contract as the local mills are all now fully booked.
The company told shareholders it had approached the Kalgoorlie Lakewood Mill, but it is fully booked for the remainder of 2020 and further into mid 2021 with no additional milling capacity available.
Subject to the advice from Lakewood, the company was negotiating an ore sale agreement with the Paddington mill with ore scheduled to be delivered September through October 2020 under that agreement.
The company said it has now been advised by Paddington that all their spare milling capacity through to early 2021 has now been contracted to a larger company.
The very strong Australian gold price has led to significantly increased demand for milling capacity in the Western Australian Goldfields region with multiple small-scale mining operations commencing during the first quarter of 2020 and larger producers also looking for additional mill capacity to process ore,” Chief Executive Officer, James Anderson, said.
“The lack of milling options has also led to an increased toll treatment cost per ore tonne. The company will not commence mining operations at the Tim’s Find project without a contracted milling solution in place and is discussing other milling solutions.”