ASX-listed gold producer, Horizon Minerals has cleared a $4 million debt with Germany-headquartered investment group, Sparta with the early repayment of approximately $4.6 million, including interest, courtesy of a successful trial gold production campaign at its flagship Boorara gold project near Kalgoorlie.
Perth-based Horizon secured the loan facility with Sparta in March last year around the time global equity and debt markets started to cop a hammering from the shock wave associated with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The debt funding enabled the gold miner to push ahead with the contract open-cut mining and toll treatment of ore from the Boorara trial pits a couple of months later and capitalise on the strong Australian-dollar gold price.
The trial mining and toll processing exercise has also delivered what it calls important grade reconciliation data for the consolidated feasibility study on Boorara currently being undertaken by Horizon.
It has subsequently reviewed the pit mapping from the three trial pits and the mining and plant treatment of ore performance. The company will then incorporate the tonnage, grade and metal content reconciliation data into a revised geological model, which underpins an ultimate maiden ore reserves estimate for the Boorara deposit.
Boorara forms the basis of the consolidated feasibility study due for completion in the June quarter.
The now debt-free Horizon says the loan repayment saved it about $170,000 in interest.
The loan facility with Sparta served a great purpose in delivering timely funding for the successful and profitable trial mining at Boorara during a time when it was difficult to raise capital. We are now in a strong financial position to make the early repayment of the loan, complete the consolidated feasibility study and continue with our extensive drilling program, returning the company to a debt-free position.
In the wake of the approximate $13.9 million in gross revenue generated by its contract mining and toll milling campaign at Boorara and its $16.1 million capital raise in August, the company is well placed to advance the consolidated feasibility study and its massive 70,000-metre drilling blitz across the project. Both are slated for completion this year.
Mining of the Boorara trial pits – Crown Jewel, Regal East and Regal West – was done and dusted last year, however, the final toll milling of the remaining higher-grade ore and a test parcel of lower-grade material is scheduled to commence this month.
Once the toll treating of the final batch of ore has been squared away – expected next month – Horizon says it will complete a mine to mill reconciliation and use the data to compile an updated mineral resource estimate. The new numbers are targeted to be released in the current quarter.
From there, Horizon intends calculating maiden ore reserves for the Boorara deposit as the cornerstone for the consolidated feasibility study on the proposed stand-alone Boorara project development including a new gold processing plant.
Boorara’s latest published measured, indicated and inferred resource stands at 16.45 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 0.96 grams per tonne gold for 507,000 ounces of contained gold.
In addition to the mooted mining and processing operation at Boorara, the feasibility study will evaluate the potential mining and trucking of ore to Boorara from a grab bag of nearby satellite gold deposits including Binduli/Crake, Teal, Rose Hill, Kalpini and Penny’s Find.
The $62 million market-capped aspiring gold developer has approximately $15.9 million cash in the bank and $5.4 million in listed investments as at the end of December.
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