Gold explorer Navarre Minerals (ASX: NML) moved into producer ranks in October after buying the operating Mt Carlton mine in Queensland in a cash and equity deal with mid-tier miner Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN).
Now, three months after taking over the operation, Navarre reports its maiden December quarter performance from the mine was production of 14,603oz gold, 100,781oz silver and 610 tonnes of copper.
Unaudited cash reserves at the end of the quarter stood at $18 million.
In the Mt Carlton acquisition, Navarre also gained control of Crush Creek gold deposit, 30km from Mt Carlton, which Evolution had acquired only in 2020.
In all, Navarre now has 815sq km of ground around Mt Carlton, located 130km south of Townsville, which it describes as “highly prospective”.
The company says it is now planning to explore “aggressively”.
Mine performance backs transformation for Navarre
Meanwhile, Evolution retains a stake in the Queensland operation through a 19.9% holding in Navarre.
Getting control of Mt Carlton was is a big deal for Navarre which until then had been focused on exploration in the gold rich Stawell corridor in Victoria.
Evolution had given guidance that in the current financial year the mine will produce between 45,000oz and 50,000oz gold at an all-in sustaining cost of between A$1,650 and A$1,700 per ounce. The gold price in Australia dollars is now sitting around $2,500/oz.
Crush Creek was acquired by Evolution because of its epithermal gold mineralisation which the company said at the time has “significant” potential to provide extensions to Mt Carlton’s mine life.
Navarre managing director Ian Holland at the time described the deal as a “truly transformational transaction”.
Company took over well-established mine with experienced work force
Navarre also inherited a well-established operation and a highly experienced site operating team and workforce which we are confident will fit in with Navarre’s own culture,” he added.
In addition to its flagship Stawell Corridor gold project. Navarre has also been drilling its St Arnaud project adjacent to historic mine workings.
The company also has a joint venture with Catalyst Metals (ASX: CYL) which is targeting gold deposits under shallow cover.