Northern Star Resources Limited (ASX: NST) is pleased to present three plant expansion options that were considered as part of KCGM’s plant optimization pre-feasibility study.
Next steps include finalizing the feasibility study, where opportunities to further maximize value can be advanced, subject to an investment decision.
Located in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, KCGM is one of the largest and most important gold mines in the world with a mineral resource of 27.4 Moz and an ore reserve of 11.9 Moz. The growth option that comes with owning an asset as large as KCGM is significant and unmatched across Australia.
North Star acquired 50% of KCGM on January 3, 2020 and took 100% control of KCGM following the merger with Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltdwhich was implemented on February 12, 2021. Since, North Star made major progress in improving the company’s understanding of the underground resource base as well as optimizing the mine through the delivery of a new fleet to allow for increased material movement. Highlights of geology and mining progress to date include: a substantial increase in Mineral Resource to 27.4 Moz and Ore Reserve to 11.9 Moz; Cut the first underground portal in the Super Pit in nearly 25 years to establish an exploration drilling platform; More than doubling material movements to 65Mtpa, in line with trajectory to 80-100Mtpa and since consolidation, increased Fiston underground mineral resource to 65Mt @ 2.3g/t for 5.0Moz and increased ore reserve underground of Mt Charlotte at 1.2 Moz.
Following the consolidation of a 100% stake in KCGM, North Star has begun a process to explore opportunities to create capital-efficient, high-yield growth outcomes that could enable the company to unlock additional value – faster – from this world-class operation. As KCGM transitions to a lower cost position, the Company will be able to review the geological model and identify additional opportunities, including in the wider region. In this context, the North star green energy strategy will reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. Importantly, plant optimization study work improves the North star social investment by ensuring that KCGM can make a responsible and meaningful contribution to sustainable mining and deliver broader ESG benefits in the Goldfields region, including in the areas of safety, social performance, employment and infrastructure. North Star continues to welcome highly skilled workers to our Goldfields teams to strengthen the company’s position as a sought-after and highly respected employer.
Commenting on KCGM’s Plant Optimization PFS Update, Northern Star Managing Director Stuart Tonkin said: “The PFS result confirms the huge opportunity presented by KCGM, a truly world-class gold asset. Since becoming 100% owners of KCGM just over a year ago, we have worked diligently and efficiently on potential options to create further value for all stakeholders. We believe the North star a powerful combination of continued operational excellence, the strongest portfolio of assets in our history and a commitment to delivering social value, will enable us to deliver attractive returns and long-term value growth. “PFS has determined that all three plant expansion options are financially attractive and offer significant operational benefits to potentially create significantly more value than maintaining the current milling capacity of 13 Mtpy. PFS work has shown that an increase in plant capacity, supported by a simplified process circuit diagram, could reduce KCGM’s AISC by as much as $200/oz as well as increasing annual production to 200,000 oz. The primary difference between the three plant expansion options is free cash flow generation, a key strategic pillar for the Company.
“We will now embark on the final study phase to optimize the best path to generate superior returns for shareholders. We will not grow for the sake of growth, but remain focused on disciplined and transparent capital allocation and a strong balance sheet. “While we are confident and well positioned to continue expanding the KCGM plant, given access to a highly skilled workforce and our recent major project experience, maintaining capacity current machining capacity of 13 Mtpa is an option that remains firmly on the table. “Regardless of the outcome of final feasibility work to determine the most attractive option, KCGM’s trajectory to 650 kozpa by FY26 remains unchanged, with regional synergies and production growth enabling an AISC position below what we are reaching today. ‘I’m proud of the North Star team for bringing us to this point without losing sight of the overarching goal of generating superior returns for shareholders. The company is fortunate to have a world-class asset like KCGM in its portfolio, which gives us an unrivaled option in the Australian gold space. I look forward to updating shareholders on the results of the final stage of our feasibility work on KCGM in due course.
About North Star
North Star is a global gold mining company. Our goal is to generate superior returns for our shareholders while delivering positive benefits to our stakeholders through operational efficiency, exploration and active portfolio management.
Tel: +61 8 6188 2100
Email: [email protected]
This announcement contains current estimates of the North star Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources of KCGM Operations. The information in this announcement regarding current ore reserves and mineral resources, as well as production targets for North Star was extracted from the ASX version by North Star titled “Resources, Reserves and Exploration Update” dated May 3, 2022 available at www.nsrltd.com and www.asx.com (“Northern Star Announcement”). North Star confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the Northern Star Announcement other than changes due to normal mining exhaustion during the three-month period month to June 28, 2022and, compared to the estimates of the North star ore reserves and mineral resources of KCGM Operations, that all significant assumptions and technical parameters underlying the Northern Star Announcement estimates continue to apply and have not materially changed. North Star confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not changed materially since this announcement.