Managing Director Ron Heeks says
The combination of several critical milestones has given Geopacific considerable momentum towards moving the 1.6Moz† Woodlark Gold Project into production and has proved to be a strong catalyst to advance discussions with potential debt providers.
The proceeds from a successful capital raising of $40 million enabled the company to commence development activities with the mobilisation of contractors, supplies and equipment to site. The successful mobilisation of resources has resulted in the commencement of civil works and other tasks required for the preparation of construction of the processing plant.
Woodlark Island is approximately 70km long and 20km wide, located in the Solomon Sea, in the Milne Bay Province of PNG.
† Refer to the DFS published November 2018
Definitive Feasibility Study
In November 2018, a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) was completed by Lycopodium Pty Ltd demonstrating a robust 13-year project with a compelling development option, both from a technical and financial perspective.
The feasibility is driven by low costs, a positive operating environment and a simple processing route. The company expects strong upfront cashflow from the project backed by robust production file, low waste to ore ratio and near-surface gold.
$40 million Capital Raising Completed
A $40 million share placement was made to Sophisticated and Professional Investors in October 2019. The successful Capital raising was a strong show of support and a demonstration of the commitment from the shareholder base for moving Woodlark into production.
Civil Works Program Commenced
On 1 December 2019, a team of Geopacific personnel mobilised to site to prepare for the arrival of contractors engaged to undertake Earth Moving Civils and Housing Construction. On 13 December 2019, key supplies and equipment mobilised to site, along with over 30 contractors, marking a key milestone critical to the success of the project. The mobilisation was the culmination of a considerable amount of planning and co-ordination among multiple parties.
After a rigorous evaluation and selection process, a conditional letter of intent was issued to GR Engineering Services Ltd (GRES) for the construction of Woodlark’s 2.4Mtpa carbon in leach (CIL) treatment facility (process plant), tailings line and other supporting infrastructure.
GRES is an industry leader in the gold processing plant construction sector. The Western Australian based engineering consulting and contracting group have a strong reputation in successfully delivering gold processing plants both internationally and in Australia. GRES also have in-country experience with other mining clients in PNG.
The goal for completion of the construction and commissioning of the processing plant is July 2022. HBS is currently working to clear the site for the plant (pictured below).
Geopacific inherited over $150 million in historic spend on Woodlark, which included a wealth of drilling data from over 275,000 metres of drilling. The exploration goldfield is 600km2.
Critical to the success of the project is the ongoing support and cooperation of the local community. The success of the current on-site activities demonstrates a willingness on behalf of the local Island population to partner with Geopacific in working towards a successful completion of the project, which will lead to ongoing benefits and upliftment for the community. Over 100 Woodlark Islanders are either working for the company or its contractors. Upskilling the workforce to enable the successful implementation of the project build and having an operating team ready for the commencement of mining and processing operations is an integral part of the community program.
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