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Century mine operator New Century Resources has revealed a new game plan centred on the purchase of the world-class Goro nickel and cobalt mine.

The company this week announced that it had entered a 60-day exclusivity period with Vale to carry out due diligence on Goro and negotiate acquisition of 95 per cent of the shares in Vale Nouvelle Calédonie.

New Century says the successful acquisition of the Goro operation would result in it becoming a major supplier of nickel and non-DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) sourced cobalt for the electric vehicle industry.

The move on the New Caledonian operation comes after New Century and Perth-based mining company IGO Limited last month announced a strategic partnership to allow the collaborative assessment of opportunities within the Century tenements or other mining assets.

It came during a $51.1 million capital raising which saw IGO take an 18.4 per cent stake in New Century Resources for about $27 million.

“New Century is pleased to secure this exclusivity agreement in relation to the potential acquisition of the Goro nickel and cobalt mine,” managing director Patrick Walta said.

“The company is excited to continue to work with Vale on the completion of due diligence and negotiation of formal agreements for the acquisition.

“New Century has been impressed by the VNC site team and also the quality and scale of infrastructure at the Goro mine.

“The current initiatives instituted by VNC to simplify the flowsheet provide strong potential to transform Goro into a sustainable long-life operation and a major global supplier of nickel and non-DRC sourced cobalt.”

The VNC flowsheet simplification plan is targeting transformation of Goro’s cost base to become a sustainable global top-10 nickel and cobalt producer, New Century says.

It would include converting to a low-impurity limonite feed for the HPAL plant and decommissioning the refinery.

This would result in production of a 100 per cent Mixed Hydroxide Product (MHP) – sought after by the electric vehicle industry.

Saprolite ore from the mine would be sold rather than processed on site.

Activity around the north west Queensland town of Richmond is a symbol of investment into the Great Northern Railway line this financial year according to peak industry body, Mount Isa Townsville Economic Zone, or MITEZ

There’d been noticeably more activity along the MITEZ corridor since the finish of the wet season with work crews carrying out road and rail upgrades particularly in the mid-west, said CEO Glen Graham. 

“MITEZ understands that in 2019-20, $60 million is planned to be invested in total on the rail line, including $20 million of capital investment on track infrastructure renewals that are currently occurring around Richmond,” Mr Graham said. 

“Queensland Rail is undertaking renewal works on the Mount Isa line through re-sleepering and undercutting.

“Changing sleepers from steel to concrete and the removal of old ballast will see the reduction in speed restrictions and will also decrease the risk of track buckles in hot weather in these locations.”

Rail services have been planned around these closures which will run through until September 2020. 

Richmond Shire Council supported the project by ensuring the essential works were able to occur during these changing times said Mayor John Wharton.

“With approximately 50 Queensland Rail staff staying in accommodation in Richmond each week, bringing a welcome boost to the local economy in Richmond,” he said.

“Richmond now has over 130 ensuite rooms and at present we need every one of them with the ongoing Queensland Rail Works Program that is expected to go out to September and again next year” said Cr Wharton. 

Investing in the rail line was an investment in jobs and the region’s industries said Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey. 

“Queensland’s North West Mineral Province contains about 75 per cent of the state’s base metal and minerals, including copper, lead, zinc, silver, gold and phosphate deposits. 

“We repaired the line in record time last year, have provided $80 million to reduce rail charges and incentivise freight exports, and we’re rolling millions of dollars to improve the line, making the freight journey faster and more reliable.” 

In continuing maintenance work, Queensland Rail will close the network for 35 hours to perform a full track relay of the Mundic Creek Bridge (east of Pentland) on 14th July, said Queensland Rail’s General Manager, Supply Chain North, Wayne Prosser.

Queensland Rail Asset Teams will upgrade the track structure to 60kg/m rail on pandrol e-clip concrete sleepers with new high-grade ballast, said Mr Prosser.

“While the track is closed, Queensland Rail will additionally perform ballast undercutting near Pentland; undertake a full turnout replacement at Charters Towers and continue with the re-sleepering near Richmond,” he said.  

“Trains have been scheduled to run in close succession during this period to keep disruption to freight movements down to a minimum.

“In the long term this project will improve efficiencies ensuring greater capacity for the Mount Isa to Townsville line.” 

The property firm behind the redevelopment of Dunk Island says the Far North Queensland project remains a high priority as it undertakes a restructure.

Mayfair 101 says the appointment of receivers by the IPO Wealth Fund’s trustee, Vasco Trustees Limited, does not directly impact on its assets in the Mission Beach area, which are not subject to the receivership process.

Mayfair Iconic Properties is behind a $1.6 billion plan which it says will restore Dunk Island and the Mission Beach region as a leading island destination in the Asia-Pacific.

In March it awarded Cairns-based Bryant Building Contractors a contract for construction of the new Dunk Island Spit bar.

In a statement today the Mayfair 101 Group said it was working with the receivers to provide the required information and was developing a plan to ensure value was maximised for investors in the IPO Wealth Fund.

“Once the restructure is complete the Mayfair 101 Group will be in a position to resume settlements, which is expected to occur in a similar timeframe to COVID-19 restrictions easing and financial market conditions improving,” it said.

“The Mayfair 101 Group’s investment in Mission Beach and Dunk Island continues to be an investment of national importance and one that aligns with the Government’s objectives to grow local tourism.

“The project will deliver over 10,000 jobs for Far North Queensland and provide the country with a highly sought-after, vibrant tourism destination.”

The company said the Dunk Island Spit Bar works were continuing, with concrete works having commenced on Monday (May 25).

It said the new bar was scheduled to be open by October 2020.

CivilPlus Constructions has won a $700,000 contract to replace four pontoons damaged during the 2019 monsoon event in Townsville.

Townsville City Council has secured joint State and Commonwealth funding under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to replace the pontoons at Rossiter Park, Framara Park and Apex Park.

Deputy Mayor and Infrastructure Committee chairperson Mark Molachino said the new pontoons were designed to be especially hardy.

“Council engaged consultants last year to do geotechnical investigations and surveys at the pontoon sites,” Cr Molachino said.

“These surveys were done to make sure the replacement pontoons will be able to withstand major weather events in the future.

“They will be resilient in the case of another extreme monsoon event, cyclones, and other extreme weather.”

Sport and Recreation Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said the pontoons would benefit many different community groups.

“We have lots of sporting groups here in Townsville who take advantage of our natural waterways, and they were part of the consulting process for these new pontoons,” Cr Soars said.

CivilPlus to replace pontoons hit by 2019 monsoon
The damaged pontoon at Rossiter Park.
Adani and the CQUniversity have launched a new engineering graduate program to build mining industry skills.

Adani Mining chief executive officer Lucas Dow said the program would provide jobs for six graduates and preference would be given to Central Queensland and North Queensland residents.

“I started my career as a mining engineer and have benefited greatly from the opportunities the mining industry has afforded me and my family,” Mr Dow said.

Adani opens doors to engineering graduatesh
Adani Mining chief executive officer Lucas Dow.
“Our first graduate engineer intake is unique in that successful candidates will be given the opportunity to work across both the construction and operational phases of our project, which is rare in the current resources environment.

“I would strongly encourage anyone looking for an exciting and rewarding career in the resources sector to apply.”

Delivered over 18 months, graduates will be placed with senior engineering team members within the Carmichael mine and ail project team and will also undertake onsite learning with CQUniversity.

The program is open to engineering graduates, up to two years post-graduation. In 2020, the positions are open to:
  • Mining engineers
  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Electrical engineers
CQUniversity vice-chancellor and president Professor Nick Klomp said the regional university was known for working directly with industries to deliver training and education that built capacity.

“Through this partnership with Adani, CQUniversity will continue to drive this commitment to fulfil the current and future needs of regional Australia,” he said.

  • For more information visit or email [email protected] Applications close Friday, June 19.
Hong Kong company Jin Resources has acquired the Gilded Rose project in a $4 million deal that will fuel vendor Ausmex’s bid to bring its Cloncurry gold hub online this year.

Completion of the sale was announced this morning, with Ausmex saying it had already received $2.5 million in upfront cash payments for the ‘non-core asset’.

It said the Gilded Rose gold project had been transferred to an Australian subsidiary of Jin Resources.

There has been some to-ing and fro-ing over the Cloncurry district project, with PepinNini Lithium having pulled out of a $4 million deal to buy it last week.

That company announced on Thursday that, subject to it having undertaken due diligence on the Ausmex-owned project, the parties had been unable to reach agreement to proceed further with the sale.

PepinNini’s interest came after a previous sale agreement with Jin Resources fell through in February.

The Gilded Rose project includes four gold mining leases, one exploration licence and a carbon in pulp processing plant (pictured). The plant, not in operation, has design capacity for the processing of 60,000 tonnes per annum.

Its sale will help Ausmex Mining Group progress the Mount Freda gold operation as well as the nearby Golden Mile development.

The transaction terms included the $2.5 million already paid to Ausmex, a further sum of $500,000 to be paid in 12 months’ time and $1 million to be paid upon the production of 10,000oz gold or within two years.

Ausmex said Jin had appointed a management team based in Melbourne and in Queensland with significant experience in bringing mining assets into production.

“The team comprises individuals who have held senior positions at BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto in addition to executive roles with junior mid-tier mining companies based in Australia and London,” Ausmex said in a statement to the market.

“The management team at Jin will be seeking to recommence production of gold at Gilded Rose in the coming months.”

Hong Kong company seals the deal on Gilded Rose