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Queensland contractor Nimble Resources has been lined up to carry out trial mining at Impact Minerals’ Blackridge gold project, 25km north of Clermont.

The trial will involve up to a million loose cubic metres – about 1.6 million tonnes.

Impact Minerals said the tribute agreement would see Nimble Resources cover set-up, mining, processing and rehabilitation costs at the project.

It said the trial mining phase, if successful, would be major step forward in demonstrating the potential for a larger open-pit mine at Blackridge.

With work underway to finalise a plan of operations to be submitted to the State Government for approval, Impact said mining may commence before the end of the year.

“This agreement is a very positive step forward for the Blackridge project,” Impact Minerals managing director Mike Jones said.

“We know that the best way to determine grade in coarse gold deposits such as Blackridge is to simply start mining. This is inherently very high risk and so this agreement gives Impact a very low-risk entry to mining by trial mining of only a modest part of the mineralised area, which extends over at least 1500m along trend.

“In addition Impact, under the royalty payment provisions will receive at least a modest cash flow from the trial.”

The trial mining agreement follows a successful bulk sampling program carried out in conjunction with Nimble.

Nimble believes that a large portion of the oxide material at Blackridge may potentially be dry processed and in the first instance will trial a proprietary dry processing technology with a throughput capacity of about 90 cubic metres per hour (about 150 tonnes per hour). 

In addition Impact will work with Nimble to determine optimal processing routes for the other two material types in the deposit which are not suitable for dry processing: wet clay-rich material and less oxidised to fresh bedrock.

Contractor to carry out trial mining at Clermont gold site