Manuka Resources Limited purchased the Wonawinta project in late 2016 and acquired Mt Boppy Resources P/L the holder of the high grade historic Mt Boppy gold project, in mid 2019. The company is focused on becoming Australia’s newest precious metal (gold then silver) producer after an initial period of toll processing the remaining open pit Mt Boppy gold ore.
The Wonawinta project is in a world-class mineral district, the Cobar Basin, an area tightly held with growing interest from advanced explorers and established producers. It hosts some of the deepest and longest life mines in Australia. Wonawinta mining lease contains an estimated resource of 52 million ounces of silver and 236,000 tonnes of lead, predominately oxides. The 900km2 of surrounding exploration licences owned by the company will be subject to significant modern exploration in the near term.
This resource will be subject to an infill drill program in 2020 to produce near term reserves contemporaneously with a deeper program to test the extent of the mineralised base and precious metal sulphides. Whilst these drill programs on the mining lease are underway the Wonawinta plant will be processing some 300,000+ tonnes of >3 g/t gold ore from the Mt Boppy mine over the next year; providing the company with early cashflow to underpin operations. Mt Boppy mine itself is a highly prospective exploration target for underground extensions under the planned pit floor and the various prospects on the surrounding exploration licence are an exciting opportunity for near term exploration.
The Wonawinta processing plant flowsheet has an 1800kw primary ball mill, 400kw secondary ball mill, six leach tanks (poured plinths for two more) a carbon based elution circuit with Merrill type zinc precipitation, filter press (for silver) and a new Gekko elution circuit for gold dore production. The plant has recently been refurbished at a cost of some $5m. A modern 80 person mine camp, airstrip and satellite communications complete site amenities.
Manuka expects to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in early 2020, with gold production expected late Q1 2020.