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Carnaby Resources is on track to complete its Tick Hill gold project pre-feasibility study by the end of May as it targets a late 2020 start to mining.

The company last month released scoping study results based on a 12-month mining and toll treatment operation to process a resource of 348,000 tonnes for about 25,000 ounces of gold.

Carnaby is looking at a cutback at the former Tick Hill open pit mine and re-processing of high grade tailings, with a start up cost of about $295,000.

It says discussions with experienced mining contractors are advancing and
suitable operating processing facilities have been identified in the Mount Isa/Cloncurry district, with advanced discussions regarding toll treatment underway.

Technical studies in progress for Tick Hill, 110km south-east of Mount Isa:

  • Engineering design and cost optimisation work to confirm that an open pit cut back is a more profitable option than re-establishing underground access to extract the resource;
  • Additional metallurgical test work relating to the tailings including grind size, residence time and oxygen injection;
  • Geotechnical review being completed by WK Geotechnical consultants;
  • Detailed ground water studies; and
  • Updating of mining and rehabilitation plan for submission to government authorities.

In its quarterly report today Carnaby said it remained ‘highly excited’ about the exploration upside at Tick Hill, especially the Tick Hill North target.

It also carried out soil sampling and drilling at Mount Birnie, 4km north-west of Tick Hill, last quarter – identifying a large mineralised Iron Oxide Copper Gold system and generating new targets.

Initial resource estimations for Mount Birnie are expected to be completed in 2020 as part of a broader scoping evaluation of the future economic viability of the numerous copper deposits within Carnaby’s Tick Hill and Duchess project areas.

As a result of COVID-19 related restrictions, Carnaby has temporarily suspended all regional field exploration activities and materially reduced salary and overhead costs.

The company reported a 50 per cent reduction in non–executive director fees and 20-40 per cent reduction in all other staff salaries.

It said it anticipated that the implemented changes would be in effect for a minimum of six months.