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North Queensland’s Mount Carlton gold mine is changing hands in a $90 million deal between Evolution Mining and Navarre Minerals.

Navarre is an Australian-based resources company with a raft of Victorian gold projects and the purchase will immediately promote it from explorer to the status of producer.

The Mount Carlton open-pit and underground gold mining operation, about 150km south of Townsville, has porduced about 0.7 million oz of gold since being commissioned in 2013.

The transaction also includes the Crush Creek deposit – expected to feed future Mount Carlton operations – with a high-grade resource of 126koz gold at 3.5g/t, delineated from only nine months of concentrated drilling.

“Mount Carlton is a proven, high-margin operation and an attractive vehicle for Navarre to transition from gold exploration company to producer – particularly given the Mount Carlton operations’ successful history of production and its potential for significant mine life extension,” Navarre managing director Ian Holland said.

“Under the transaction, Navarre will inherit a well-established operation and a highly experienced site operating team and workforce which we are confident will fit in with Navarre’s own culture and focus on potential for further discovery and resource addition.”

The total acquisition price is up to $90 million comprising:

• $40 million upfront consideration through a combination of cash and shares to be paid at the time of completion.
• $25 million in additional cash consideration payable upon the realisation of gold production milestones from future development of Crush Creek; and
• up to $25 million in additional cash consideration payable if the average spot gold price in any quarter exceeds the equivalent of $AU2250/oz and linked to the future production from the Mount Carlton operations, with payments commencing July 2023.

Evolution has committed to subscribe for up to $20.4 million worth of ordinary shares in Navarre as partial satisfaction of the upfront payment.
Evolution executive chairman Jake Klein said the company believed it was time to hand Mount Carlton over to an emerging gold producer who could focus on extending the operation’s mine life.

“The exposure we have retained will enable Evolution shareholders to benefit from the future success of the operation,” he said.

“Evolution would like to thank our employees, contractors, suppliers, the traditional custodians of the land the Birriah People, and the local community for their contribution to Mount Carlton’s success. We are confident that Navarre will be a great partner for those stakeholders in the future.”

Mount Carlton gold mine sells in $90m deal