BIM Metals is positioned to roll out modular processing plant technology to exploit isolated ore bodies, tailings and mineralised waste dumps Australiawide, says managing director Brendan James.
And, with its Tick Hill deal kicking in, Mr James said BIM Metals would be recruiting towards the end of 2020 to add 15-20 further staff to its North-West Queensland workforce.
The private company is about to start site work at Tick Hill after sealing a deal with Carnaby Resources to reprocess tailings stockpiles from that historical gold mine.
Mr James said it had developed expertise in such operations over the years, including treating material from Lady Annie heap leach areas and tailings at its own Lorena gold project near Cloncurry.
With gold prices going gangbusters, he believed the concept was about to take off.
“We’re putting ourselves in a position where we can really take it forward,” he said.
“We have quite a large team now – both a technical team and operations crew – that can really move this technology forward.
“We’re confident in it and we’ll roll this out not just across Queensland but across Australia.”
The company owns and runs the Lorena gold project, where the existing plant will be able to take initial material from Tick Hill for reprocessing. However work is in train to upgrade the plant for more specialised tailings reprocessing.
“Tick Hill is close enough to Cloncurry that it makes sense to do it that way,” Mr James said.
“But the plants we make are modular and mobile and we can take them anywhere.”
The Tick Hill campaign is expected to last about 12 months, with processing from early next year. Early works starting this month on the site would have an environmental focus to meet the group’s plans to rehabilitate as it went, Mr James said.
The Tick Hill tailings dam and historical ROM pad featured in the BIM transaction contain probable ore reserves of 410,900 tonnes at 1.35 g/t for 17,800 ounces.
BIM Metals is also pursuing toll treatment work, with Laneway Resources already onboard for that service.
At least the initial 18,000 tonnes of material from the restart of the Agate Creek gold mine is due to be processed at Lorena from about mid-November.
There are more plans for the Lorena ore body as well – with BIM Metals looking at a cutback option, potential underground operations and reprocessing tailings on that site.