Malachite Resources has entered into a heads of agreement with Ore Processing Services to establish a mobile mineral processing plant at the Lorena gold project, about 15km east of Cloncurry.
OPS will take responsibility for the supply, commissioning and operation of the whole mineral processing plant, which will be constructed as mobile units.
In a statement to the market today, Malachite said the main advantage of this approach was lower construction cost as the units could be built off-site and transported to site fully commissioned.
The mobile plant would provide flexibility to remain on site if more resources were identified, or to relocate to other regional opportunities or other projects within Australia.
It is intended that a mining contractor will be engaged to deliver ore to a mobile crushing system for processing through the OPS plant modules.
Malachite chairman Terry Cuthbertson said the board was delighted to have reached an agreement with OPS which established a sound platform for achieving gold production at the earliest opportunity.
“Following protracted but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to reach an appropriate commercial agreement with BCD Resources NL (BCD), the Malachite board is now excited at the prospect of moving ahead with the development of the Lorena gold project entirely independently of BCD,” he said.
The Lorena gold project is expected to produce about 30,000 to 35,000 oz of recovered gold in 18 months of production from an open-cut operation and the company believes there is potential for resource extensions at depth.