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Former Barrick gold mine set for revival

Catalyst gold

Catalyst Metals is looking to recommence production at its Plutonic East gold project in the first quarter of 2025.

The mine, located in the 40km-long Plutonic gold belt in WA, was last mined by Barrick Gold in 2012 when gold prices were around $1500 per ounce.

Catalyst has been dewatering Plutonic East’s declines and development workings to enable a restart. The company is also in the process of re-estimating a 522,000-ounce at 4.1 grams per tonne (g/t) gold resource.

Plutonic East lies 2km from the currently operational 1.8-million-tonne-per-annum Plutonic processing plant. The Plutonic mine produced 21,252 ounces of gold in the March quarter.

“The Catalyst operating team has done an exceptional job in stabilising operations and lifting production at Plutonic. This has led to a strengthening of Catalyst’s balance sheet,” Catalyst managing director and chief executive officer James Champion de Crespigny said.

“Our focus now turns to the organic growth strategy of developing the existing resources across the (Plutonic) belt. As Catalyst better understands the belt, we’re seeing the capital costs for developments fall. These lower capital costs, and our improving balance sheet, are encouraging signs.”

Catalyst merged with Superior Gold early last year, resulting in the company taking over ownership of the Plutonic gold mine.

Having acquired Vango Mining just before that, Catalyst had consolidated the Plutonic gold belt, with the Plutonic mine the only operating asset in this region.

Within the first 12 months of owning the Plutonic operations, Catalyst installed a new management team and reinvested cashflows into advancing the belt’s development.

Catalyst hopes Plutonic East will be its next producing mine, with the Trident deposit another emerging prospect.

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