Ausmex has brought Como Engineers onboard to help weigh up its processing options as it pushes ahead with plans to start producing gold by the end of the year.
The company plans to establish a Cloncurry mining hub with multiple pits centred on the Mount Freda and Golden Mile gold projects.
The operations would employ 50-100 people, and Ausmex executive director and chief operating officer Geoff Kidd said the company planned to use a local workforce and to support local business.
Ausmex on Monday announced that it had entered a strategic alliance with fellow resource junior ActivEX to ‘identify, review, consider and acquire’ suitable gold processing facilities within the Cloncurry region.
It has now retained Fremantle-based Como Engineers to advise on its options. Como designed and built the CIP gold processing plant at the Great Australia Mine for Round Oak Minerals (previously CopperChem).
Ausmex said the results of Como’s work would form a vital part of the internal scoping study for the development of the Mount Freda and Golden Mile mining leases this year.
The firm’s advice will include performance predictions for the Great Australia Mine’s gold processing plant and other processing plant options within the Cloncurry region.
The review of the Great Australia Mine CIP plant is being undertaken with the knowledge of Round Oak Minerals, which is also a joint venture partner (20 per cent stake) in the Golden Mile project.
The Mount Freda and Golden Mile project (ML100201) areas lie within 30km of that plant and the Lorena carbon in pulp gold processing facilities.
The Ausmex-owned Gilded Rose project – now subject to an acquisition agreement with PepinNini – hosts a carbon in pulp processing plant that is no longer in operation and would not have the capacity expected to be required for Ausmex’s planned operations.
Mr Kidd told iQ that Ausmex was still looking at all options in the region, including toll treatment, and did not expect to make a decision for the next month or so.
“There’s a long way to go in discussions. All we’re looking for is the best commercial outcome for our shareholders based on what we think will be the optimum tonnage rate from the operation – and that’s still being decided at the moment. We still have resource estimates going on and mining studies,” he said.
“I’m confident it will all come together, but I really can’t predict where will be the best outcome for us.”
The company is in discussions with a number of potential contractors/suppliers for the operation.
Mr Kidd said its focus would be local. “We see ourselves as making a major contribution to the economy of Cloncurry and our principle will be local. We don’t think that fly-in, fly-out is of any real interest to us and we would like to be regarded as an operation which is Cloncurry based, employing Cloncurry people.”