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News

BIM Metals is expected to begin work on site this month in a project to extract gold from historical tailings dam stockpiles at Tick Hill.

Tenement holder Carnaby Resources announced that it had received the permitting required for the operation.

The company in August reached an agreement to sell the tailings stockpiles in a deal worth about $6 million with private mining and processing entity BIM Metals.

BIM Metals will transport the material to the Lorena gold site for processing.

Carnaby said first ore extraction from the tailings dam stockpile was anticipated to occur by the end of the month.

In addition to various upfront payments and installments to be received upon the permitting and start of ore extraction, Carnaby is in line for 5 per cent royalty payments on gold sales from the Tick Hill stockpiles.

“We could not be in a better position than we are in right now, having monetised the Tick Hill tailings dam stockpile during record gold prices and being fully funded to aggressively explore and advance our highly prized Strelley (Western Australia) and Tick Hill gold targets,” Carnaby Resources managing director Rob Watkins said.

“We look forward with great anticipation to the results from the drilling programs that will commence over the coming days.”

Carnaby plans an optimised open pit cutback at the existing 70m deep Tick Hill mine, using all-wheel drive truck and shovel operations.

Results released mid-year from a Preliminary Feasibility Study and Maiden Ore Reserve confirmed a viable mining and toll treatment project.

Tick Hill, 110km south-east of Mount Isa, produced 511,000 oz of gold, with an ore grade of 22.5g/t, when it was mined by MIM Holdings from 1991-95.

Carnaby’s Tick Hill gold project and broader exploration package covers 323q km within the Mount Isa Inlier.

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Civmec has announced a major contract win with BHP Mitsubishi Alliance as part of a cluster of projects it has been awarded with a total value of about $175 million.

BMA has engaged Civmec to fabricate, modularise and commission a 1800-tonne shiploader for Hay Point terminal.

The large material handling equipment will be fabricated at the company’s Henderson manufacturing facility in Western Australia.

Civmec said it was based on pre-contract capital ahead of a large infrastructure replacement project at Hay Point Coal Terminal that was still subject of final board approval by BHP and Mitsubishi.

The contract awarded to Civmec includes the supply and assembly of the complete shiploader, up to the no-load commissioning stage.

Work will commence immediately, with completion anticipated in the second half of calendar year 2022.

Civmec said the award of this scope of work would provide an estimated peak of 150 jobs in Perth.

“We are extremely pleased to be given this opportunity to further support BHP in the delivery of a shiploader,” Civmec chief executive officer Patrick Tallon said.

“This contract follows on from other smart modules and machines delivered by Civmec for BHP projects as part of our partnership delivering high quality, complex machines.”

The other contract wins making up $175 million included a contract with Woodside Energy to support onshore and offshore facilities in Australia; and a contract for the supply of modules for the Iron Bridge Magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB.

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Red River Resources has reported record quarterly copper production from its Thalanga operation in North Queensland – with a 51 per cent increase on last quarter’s bumper result.

With stable mine production and mill throughput during the first quarter of 2020-21, the company produced 4073 tonnes of copper concentrate, up from 2696 tonnes in the previous three months.

Thalanga also produced 7026 tonnes of high-quality zinc concentrate and 1947 tonnes of high-quality lead concentrate last quarter.

Thalanga operations mined 99,000 tonnes of ore at 11.7 per cent zinc last quarter and processed 103,000 tonnes of ore.

Earlier this month Red River Resources announced it was debt free after fully repaying the working capital facility held with its lead and zinc offtake partner Trafigura.

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A campaign to advocate for Queensland’s resources industry and the 372,000 people who rely on it for jobs is long overdue, the Queensland Resources Council says.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane was commenting after a number of major mining companies this week expressed opposition or suspended their membership of his organisation over its specific anti-Greens messaging in State election material.

He said an awareness campaign in targeted state seats to encourage voters to ‘put their job first and the Greens last’ was designed to start a conversation about the importance of the resources industry to the Queensland economy and to jobs.

A key election policy of the Greens was to impose an additional $50 billion in extra taxes on the state’s resources sector over the next four years to fund green initiatives, effectively lifting the tax rate on resources by four to five times its current rate, Mr Macfarlane said.

“Resources has literally been a life raft for the Queensland economy this year, especially during COVID-19, where we’ve managed to maintain almost full production and employment under very difficult circumstances,” he said.

“It’s unfair on our workers, many of whom are based in regional and remote areas, not to speak out about a policy that is designed to destroy their jobs and companies, and the communities in which they operate.

“We want people to know that a vote for the Greens is a vote against the mining and gas industry and a vote against jobs and economic stability in Queensland and that will affect every one of us.”

Mr Macfarlane said the Greens had made it clear they were against new mining projects, wanted to terminate mining leases in the Galilee Basin and increase royalty taxes on resources.

“By running this awareness campaign, the QRC is saying to the people of Queensland – please be very careful about who you vote for on October 31, because a vote for the Greens is a vote against jobs and a vote against a post-COVID economic recovery,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The next government in Queensland must show strong, intelligent leadership that takes into account the needs of all sectors in the community and not bow to the bullying of extreme environmental activists.”

Bowen Coking Coal is bullish on the future of metallurgical coal as it drives two key Queensland projects towards ‘shovel-ready’ status as quickly as possible.

The company made major announcements last week on advances at the Broadmeadow East and Isaac River coking coal projects in the Moranbah region.

Both would be open-pit operations using contract mining and each could generate around 150-200 ongoing jobs.

Bowen Coking Coal managing director Gerhard Redelinghuys said the news of early commercial completion of the Broadmeadow East acquisition demonstrated the company was serious about the project and was expediting its development.

The $2.5 million deal with Peabody includes access rights to the New Lenton Joint Venture coal handling and preparation plant and a rail load-out facility.

“That’s the big attraction of this project – it will not require a significant amount of capital expenditure,” Mr Redelinghuys said.

“We are looking at a typical contractor operation and we don’t need to build a lot of infrastructure, it’s already part of the transaction, and we’ve already agreed the land access compensation as well.”

With a granted mining lease already in place, the major approvals issue now affecting project timing is the requirement for an amendment to the environmental authority – a process expected to take roughly 12 months.

This should be quickly followed by a final investment decision on what Mr Redelinghuys described as a low capex project to bring intro production.

Depending on the environmental approvals, first coal is expected within the next 18 to 24 months.
Broadmeadow East boasts an estimated resource of 33 million tonnes of metallurgical coal, with a fully explored open pit area hosting 11Mt shallower than 100m deep.

The company expects Broadmeadow East to be the first of its portfolio of projects to come online, although Isaac River may follow closely (subject to permitting) and run concurrently.

Bowen Coking Coal lodged a mining lease application for its Isaac River project in March, followed by its environmental authority application last week.

“The whole strategy for Bowen Coking Coal is to get into production as soon as possible – that is our strategy,” Mr Redelinghuys said.

Among its other assets is the Hillalong project, where Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation has agreed to spend up to $7.5 million on exploration to earn up to 20 per cent of the project.

The projects are surging ahead at the same time as an uptick in prices for hard coking coal.

“We have a bullish view. We think we’ve seen a good correction in the prices over the last month or so,” Mr Redelinghuys said.

“The last prices I saw had hard coking coal around $US139 a tonne, with futures for early next year over $US150 already. The fundamentals for hard coking coal are very solid and Australia is in a really good position to capitalise on that.”


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State LNP leader Deb Frecklington has committed to build Northern Australia’s largest ship-lift in Cairns to help the city beat Darwin in the race for new jobs in the defence and marine industries.

Ms Frecklington said her party would invest $20 million in a syncrolift capable of lifting vessels of 5000-7000 tonnes for Cairns if it won the state election.

The ship-lift would give Cairns the capacity to land more defence contracts from the Federal Government’s investment in the Royal Australian Navy through Plan Galileo – as well as more commercial shipping maintenance work.

“Defence is about to boom and the LNP’s investment will ensure the Far North gets its fair share of the new jobs that the Morrison Federal Government is creating,” Ms Frecklington said.

“This $20 million ship-lift will give Cairns the pulling power to land Navy and civilian maintenance work which will secure 6000 local manufacturing jobs and create many more.”

The LNP would form a commercial partnership with the Cairns marine industry to deliver the project, with the State Government funding the ship-lift and its partners funding the civil works and other equipment.

The State Labor Government last month unveiled plans for a $30 million boost to help Port of Cairns build two new wharves and advance the case for further growth as a defence vessel maintenance and shipbuilding hub.

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