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Cloncurry gold developer Ausmex Mining Group says it expects to start mining in the first quarter of 2021 at the historic Comstock, Falcon and Shamrock gold mines.

They are part of a group of eight high-grade historical gold mines that make up the Golden Mile project.

Independent mine management group Minecraft had been appointed managers of the project, Ausmex managing director Aaron Day said in a recent announcement to the ASX.

The start date was subject to mining lease approval for the Golden Mile project and the plan of operations by the State Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, he said.

The Golden Mile project is a joint venture with Round Oak Minerals, a subsidiary of WH Soul Pattison.

Drill and blast operations are to be carried out by contractors, mining by Ausmex, the transport of ore by contractor and processing by Round Oak Minerals at its Cloncurry plant.

Ausmex said open-cut pit shells had been completed for the Comstock, Falcon and Shamrock sites.

An early draft prefeasibility study and budgets indicated high margins from mining and processing, it said.

The Golden Mile group of projects lies just north of Ausmex’s flagship Mount Freda project.

The company also plans to commence underground operations at Mount Freda during 2021. It has been dewatering the existing open-cut there and said that process was now 90 per cent complete.

In a note to shareholder, Ausmex said it had made the decision to bring the Golden Mile into production as quickly as possible.

It said recent drilling – limited to 50m – had focused on providing a mineable resource of gold that was close to the surface, easy to mine by open-cut operation, amenable to cyanide leaching in a CIP plant and able to produce ‘big margins of profits’.

“Drilling up a major high-tonnage resource can come from cash flow from the early mining,” Mr Day said.

“Due to the shortage of drill rigs due to the mineral boom, drilling costs
have risen and the backlog of samples at the assay laboratories has been frustrating for the company, however, we are nearly through that period and look forward to a prosperous 2021 for Ausmex.”

Recent upgrade infill drilling at Mount Freda has returned assay results including 11m at 3.60g/t gold from 41-52m including 2m at 13.80g/t gold, and 5m at 11.24g/t gold from 133-138m including 3m at 18.59g/t gold.

Five additional infill drill holes remain to be drilled at Mount Freda. These are required to confirm the presence of the high-grade gold between the previously drilled holes.

Ausmex said recent drilling was expected to vastly increase the Mount Freda gold grade. A second diamond core rig has recently arrived at the site.

The company expects completion of all the remaining holes required for the JORC resources upgrade by December 8 for Mount Freda and to complete the last of the holes at the Golden Mile by December 15.

Recent diamond core drilling at its Trump project has also pointed to a possible new discovery of a high-grade gold system.

However Ausmex said this week that the blinkers were on at this time as it was totally focused and going full-speed ahead to commence gold production at the Mount Freda complex, including the Golden Mile and Mount Freda gold mine projects.