Emerging West Australian gold company Brightstar Resources Ltd (ASX: BTR) has received a report from highly regarded consultancy Como Engineers Pty Ltd that confirms an estimated cost of $5.5 million to refurbish the Brightstar Processing Plant at the company’s flagship Brightstar Gold Project, located near Laverton in the northern Goldfields of WA.
The Mill is on care and maintenance while Brightstar completes resource definition drilling and mine design work ahead of finalising plans to re-establish its gold mining operations.
The Como report states that refurbishment of the Mill will result in Brightstar having a 650ktpa production plant within 60km of its three major deposits – Alpha, Beta and Cork Tree Well, which boast a combined JORC-2012 compliant Mineral Resource of approximately 445,000oz Au (7,192kt @ 1.9 g/t). The Mill is also close to a number of third-party, advanced gold projects that may lead to toll-treatment opportunities.
The Como report estimates the costs of refurbishment of the Mill, including all modifications and upgrades, to be approximately $3.6 million (excluding GST). In addition, Como has estimated $1.9 million of owner’s costs. The Como cost estimates include a 30% contingency.
The Como report builds on the significant investment Brightstar made in 2014 including purchasing and installing, or partly installing, key capital items such as a new secondary crusher, 450kW ball mill, gravity circuit and elution circuit.
Other key findings of the Como report include that:
- (a) the estimated refurbishment, upgrade and commissioning of the Mill should take approximately three months, plus a potential three months to produce a new head for the Ball Mill;
- (b) core components of the Mill, including the ROM bin and grizzly, the carbon-in- leach tanks, crushers and feeders are overall in decent condition; and
- (c) the refurbishment should be undertaken with a crew of up to 10 staff.
Managing Director, Bill Hobba, said the Como report is an exciting milestone for Brightstar and will be incorporated into the company’s three-year strategic plan, which is expected to be finalised and released to the market by the end of this quarter.
“We are delighted with the outcomes of Como’s report into the Brightstar Mill’s refurbishment and upgrade, which confirmed our expectations of a low capital-cost solution that will underpin plans for us to fast-track the Brightstar Project into production.
“At the upgraded oxide processing capacity of approximately 650,000 tonnes a year, our Mill will be almost twice as large as originally envisaged.
“The Brightstar Board wishes to thank Richard Ladyman and his team at Como for preparing a robust and independent review of the costs associated with returning our Mill to operations. We now look forward to getting on with the job of completing our resource work and associated mine design work at the Brightstar Project – including a final cost estimate for the Mill work – as part of our plans to becoming a profitable gold producer.”
Major Items of Mill Refurbishment Expenditure
Some of the major (>$100,000) items of Mill refurbishment and upgrade expenditure identified in Como’s report include:
(a) work on the crushing and screening electronics ($100,000);
(b) replacement of the feed bin ($100,000) and lime silo ($150,000);
(c) supply and refit of new rubber liners and lifters in Ball Mill 1’s lube system ($150,000);
(d) replacing the head and trunnion of Ball Mill 3’s trunnion bearing ($250,000);
(e) acquisition of a new leach tank ($200,000); and
(f) preparation of a new or second-hand agitator for the leach tank ($100,000).
The belt feeder also requires a new heavy duty conveyor belt and installation of a gravity circuit and concrete repairs need to be completed.