Kingston buys gold mine

KINGSTON Resources is buying the Mineral Hill gold mine from Quintana for about $23 million in cash and shares.
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Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

Under the cash and scrip deal Mineral Hill, north of Condobolin in New South Wales, will return to Australian ownership after seven years.

The acquisition price comprises US$1 million cash, $8 million in shares and deferred payments of $8 million, as well as a 2% net smelter return royalty.

Kingston had been completely focused on developing a separate gold asset called Misima in Papua New Guinea. It will now prioritise operations at Mineral Hill.

The company said it would start by processing gold tailings on site through a carbon in leach plant, which should deliver immediate gold production and revenue to fund further work.

According to Kingston the tailings alone should deliver 40,000 ounces at all in sustaining costs of $1550-$1650 per ounce over the next two years or so.

Production ramp-up will take about four months.

At that point the plant will have a throughput capacity of about 750,000 tonnes of ore.

Kingston managing director Andrew Corbett said revenue from the tailings processing would "unlock the broader potential" of the mine.

"We are very excited to be able to acquire a full-developed gold and copper project in a tier-1 location that has recently restarted operations with immediate gold production," he said. 

Kingston estimates minimal capital required to bring the open pit back into operation, and will then look to the underground deposits and exploration.

It will particularly focus on four near-term production prospects: Pearse, Pearse North, The Southern Ore Zone and the Parkers Hill Deposit.

The project has a 469,000oz gold equivalent resource and has not been explored since the 1990s.

Reserves, which should increase as exploration and development continues, are 71,163oz gold.

"Mineral Hill has a strong history of high-grade gold and copper production, a number of advanced brownfields exploration targets, an existing resource base and infrastructure, which is expected to enable a low capital-intensity restart of exciting development opportunities," Corbett said.

Kingston will fund the acquisition of the project through a placement launched recently to raise $14 million.

"The attractive deal metrics, near-term cash-flow and significant gold and copper exposure make for a fantastic strategic fit with our cornerstone asset, the 3.8-million-ounce Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea," Corbett said.