Fo­cus flicks the switch

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Jar­rod Lu­cas

Cool­gar­die gold miner Fo­cus Min­er­als expects to save about $750,000 a year af­ter trans­fer­ring the elec­tric­ity sup­ply for its moth­balled Three Mill Hill plant to a third party.

The Chi­nese-con­trolled Fo­cus had a “take or pay” con­tract with Alinta Power to sup­ply the 1.2Mtpa mill.

The plant has been moth­balled since 2013 and Fo­cus has been pay­ing for elec­tric­ity that was not be­ing used.

Fo­cus claims “the cost to cease the sup­ply was oner­ous and there was a sig­nif­i­cant risk that Fo­cus could face a long wait to se­cure a con­tracted power sup­ply when Three Mile Hill restarts”.

By en­ter­ing an agree­ment with a third party, Fo­cus has trans­ferred the power sup­ply and as­so­ci­ated costs as well as re­ceiv­ing $200,000.

It has also se­cured a com­mit­ment from the third party that they will ap­ply to trans­fer the elec­tric­ity sup­ply back if it is needed by Fo­cus in the next three years.

It comes as Fo­cus con­tin­ues ex­plo­ration at its Cool­gar­die and Laver­ton port­fo­lio in a bid to restart op­er­a­tions which ceased af­ter the 2013 gold price col­lapse.

At Cool­gar­die, Fo­cus says it is tar­get­ing high-grade ore to sup­ple­ment ex­ist­ing resources.

A maiden re­source es­ti­mate for the Bon­nie Vale project, near one of Cool­gar­die’s big­gest and high­est-grade his­toric mines, is ex­pected to be an­nounced to the ASX in Novem­ber.

The Wes­tralia Lower Reef at Bon­nie Vale is an area Fo­cus says has “strong po­ten­tial”, given lit­tle ex­plo­ration has oc­curred over the past 30 years and most is lim­ited to 60m in depth. The com­pany was also ac­tively drilling in the Septem­ber quar­ter near the his­toric Bay­leys un­der­ground mine — the site where gold was first dis­cov­ered in Cool­gar­die in 1892.

The Tin­dals Min­ing Cen­tre is an­other high pri­or­ity, with re­verse cir­cu­la­tion drilling planned be­fore the end of the year to test 1.5km in ar­eas that have had lit­tle sys­tem­atic ex­plo­ration.

Fo­cus re­mains one of the Gold­fields’ most cashed-up ex­plor­ers with $77.1 mil­lion in the kitty at the end of the Septem­ber quar­ter.

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