Focus flicks the switch
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.