In its flagship project of Boorara 15 km from Kalgoorlie, it is working on a consolidated feasibility study and aims for large-scale production in 2022.
The study covers an initial lifespan of five to seven years based on a new stand-alone processing plant and supplemented by a higher grade feed from five satellite deposits, including the underground resource at a grade of 5, 2 g / t at the nearby Cannon gold project, Horizon acquired in May.
The well-funded company was set to provide an initial reserve for Boorara at the time of going to press, after announcing a 34% increase in grade in an April resource update.
The Boorara deposit currently holds approximately half of the project’s over 1 million ounce resource, with the remainder divided between the Teal, Kalpini, Rosehill, Binduli and Cannon deposits, all within a 75 km radius.
Horizon has reduced the risk of its development plans with a successful trial mining campaign at Boorara that has ended in recent months, achieving 6,570 ounces and generating approximately A $ 3.6 million in net cash .
“We made a little bit of money, but more importantly, we learned a lot about the orebody,” said general manager Jon Price.
“The metallurgical recovery was much better than expected [at 94.5%].
“We fully understand the geology, so for us that now gives us the confidence to move forward with the reserve.
“Very few companies have the ability to ‘try before you buy’, so to speak, or try before they develop.”
Price attributed this possibility to Boorara’s unique location, on the doorstep of the Kalgoorlie Gold Mining Center and next to the Northern Star Resources Super Pit.
Horizon was working on providing four resources and then six reserves, culminating in the consolidated feasibility study before year end.
“The Boorara plant site has electricity, water and approvals are well advanced, so we are really excited to move on to this development and construction decision based on this initial profile of five. at age seven, ”Price said.
Boorara’s development is expected to be boosted by cash flow from Horizon’s recently acquired stake in the high-grade Penny’s Find gold project, where a development decision is expected in the September quarter.
Penny’s Find, 50 km from Kalgoorlie, is a 50% joint venture with Orminex and has a current resource of 56,000 ounces grading 7 g / t.
“It’s basically an immediate production opportunity,” Price said.
“This is an underground development with no elevator, approvals are in place and a milling agreement is in place for the first processing of the ore during the March quarter.
“We see a significant opportunity to leverage and generate cash while we are building [at Boorara], and I don’t think there are too many companies that can say they are developing mines and building a factory, and are in production, at the same time.
“It depends on the jurisdiction and the location in and around Kalgoorlie that we can do this.”
It also highlights the wealth of Goldfields experience shared among the company’s management team.
“We have all raised our families and built our careers in the gold fields,” noted Price.
He was previously managing director of the St Ives and Paddington gold mines in the region, and founding managing director of Phoenix Gold, which was acquired by Evolution Mining in 2015 for $ 74.3 million.
In the meantime, Horizon has developed its land ownership in the prolific gold mining region and remains on the lookout for new opportunities.
“We’ve been able to accumulate over 1,100 km² of tenure now, and it’s probably one of the largest strategic land holdings, outside of the majors in the region,” Price said.
“We will continue to do this – we are looking for development-ready assets at the asset level.
“We are also looking at more business consolidation opportunities.
“I think we should all continue to bring together companies where one plus one equals more than three and where there are opportunities that can increase shareholder value through consolidation at the company level.”
Horizon was formed two years ago by the merger of Intermin Resources and MacPhersons Resources.
With more than $ 17 million on hand and reserve drilling completed, Horizon has now turned to exploration as part of its 2021 55,000m drill campaign.
“It took a while to get to this new discovery drill, but our exploration team is top notch and I think it will be a fantastic six to nine month period,” said Price.
“Not only are we building our production plan and our feasibility study, but we have up to four rigs on the property, we are fully funded and there will be a lot of news.
“We are looking for the next big deposit over 1 Moz and have fantastic land in a world class gold region to look for.”
Recent drill results include 1 m at 18.91 g / t gold over 5 m at 5.22 g / t from 94 m, on the newly discovered Kestrel prospect of Binduli, 12 km to the west by Kalgoorlie.
Meanwhile, in the background, Horizon has invested around $ 5.5 million. Price said he would seek to monetize as part of the financing for the new Boorara plant.
It had exposure to multiple commodities through its non-core assets, namely the Nimbus silver-zinc project in Washington State and a 25% stake in the world-class 1.8 billion tonne project. of vanadium oxide Julia Creek in Queensland.
“What shareholders and potential shareholders may consider is that we are growing our gold business, while also having exposure to several joint venture commodities and our exciting 20 Moz silver-zinc project, which in ultimately, with the rise in the price of silver and the rise in the price of zinc really has value.
“You don’t necessarily know we own it, and certainly not valued in action at all.”
Looking ahead, Price anticipates a very busy time as the proven miner advances his mid-level aspirations.
“There is a tremendous amount of information to come as we move from a small explorer and acquirer to an emerging mid-level gold company, moving into large-scale development and production,” he said. .
“The next six to 12 months are going to be a pivotal time for us.”