Mantle Mining is getting closer to restarting production at Morning Star gold mine in Victoria, Australia, after completing an internal review of its project portfolio.

The underground gold mine is located in the heart of Australia’s prolific gold fields, the Walhalla to Woods Point field in eastern Victoria.

Mantle Mining executive director Dr Rick Valenta said: “Whilst Mantle's other significant project, Norton, near Gladstone in Queensland, is an attractive project, the company’s focus and efforts will be better rewarded by focusing on Morning Star, which is a significantly larger and higher grade gold mine. 

"Few companies have the opportunity for a dominant land position and fully permitted operation in one of Australia’s great high-grade gold districts."

"Very few companies have the opportunity to have a dominant land position and a fully permitted operation in one of Australia’s great high-grade gold districts, and we intend to take full advantage of that situation.”

The Morning Star project is 95%-owned by the company, has a 80,000t per annum processing plant on site requiring minimal upgrade to recommence processing. It also has mains power at the site, a refurbished shaft, and an existing paste plant attached to the mill.

The company plans to bring the mine back into production with an effort to get the existing JORC resource up to the JORC 2012 standard.  

Furthermore, a full review and optimisation of the existing process plant is expected to be carried out to ensure its smooth operation.

The company will also review and prioritise regional targets for further exploration after achieving production.

Mantle Mining has decided to put its Norton project under maintenance and earmarked its legacy coal assets for divestment opportunities.