Northern Star Resources has completed a scoping study of its Hermes gold deposit 60 km southwest of its Plutonic mine in Western Australia. The study suggested that the deposit can contribute 1.1 million mt of feed to the Plutonic mill at a grade of 2.6 g/mt gold over a two- to three-year period. Contained gold would total 86,000 oz.
Capital cost to bring the Hermes deposit into production is estimated at A$10 million. All-in sustaining cost of production is estimated at A$1,095/oz of gold.
Northern Star forecasts that completion of the Hermes project will increase Plutonic production from a current range of 75,000 to 80,000 oz/y to 100,000 oz/y in its 2017 fiscal year and beyond. Mining is scheduled to start at three pits in mid-2016, with the ore being trucked to Plutonic via a direct haulage route.
Northern Star acquired the Hermes deposit from Alchemy Resources in March 2015 for A$1.5 million. The deposit remains open in several directions with the potential for pit extensions and underground mining
Since taking ownership of the Plutonic mine in early 2014, Northern Star has invested significantly in exploration and development as part of its strategy to move away from remnant mining and into new resource areas. The company completed more than 120,000 m of diamond drilling in its fiscal year to June 30 and has budgeted for an additional 90,000 m during its current fiscal year. Development of four new areas is now well advanced. Mineral resources currently total 1.7 million oz of gold.
Northern Star owns and operates four mines in Western Australia: Jundee, Kanowna Belle, Plutonic and Paulsens. It has a 51% interest in and is operator of the East Kundana joint venture. Its gold production during its current fiscal year is forecast to be in the range of 535,000 to 570,000 oz.