ASX-listed gold exploration company Calidus Resources has secured all the environmental permits necessary to begin mining at its Blue Spec gold project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

This project is located 20km south-east of Nullagine and 70km from the company’s Warrawoona gold project.

According to Calidus, the Blue Spec mine was discovered in the early 1900s and was mined historically to 320m of vertical depth.

The mine is known to host coarse gold mineralisation, with processing through the proposed 100 kilotonnes-per-annum sulphide plant to be located at Warrawoona next to the company’s carbon-in-leach (CIL) plant.

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By GlobalData

The feasibility study of the project included the construction of a flotation plant at Warrawoona to treat production from the Blue Spec mine.

The plant is expected to have an additional processing capacity of 30,000oz per annum to the present Warrawoona production.

Calidus claims that the project has two high-grade deposits including the Blue Spec and Gold Spec deposits, which account for up to 190,000oz at 24.4 grams per tonne gold (Au). Both deposits are open down-dip with a repeat strike potential to provide exploration upside to known high-grade mineral resources.

Due to its proximity to Warrawoona, Blue Spec has significant potential to offer strategic high-grade satellite feed, enhance its production profile and extend the mine life at low capital intensity.

The pre-production capital cost is estimated to be $21.67m (A$34m) and the operating cost of the project is $145.95m.  

Calidus managing director Dave Reeves said: “Receipt of this final approval means all our immediate expansion plans are fully permitted. The front-end engineering study on the plant is progressing well and we believe we will see a significant capital reduction from the numbers released in the feasibility study.

“We are also close to finalising offtake discussions for the Copenhagen concentrate, which will be the first concentrate produced by the flotation plant. Our review of the Haoma JV projects is continuing and we look forward to providing additional information on these high-grade deposits as we conclude our review.”