Navigator focused on Leonora
A $5m capital raising by Navigator Resources follows the discovery of a third 2km-long gold system within the company’s wholly owned 870,000 ounce Leonora gold project in Western Australia.Infill and step-out drilling in and around the Tonto discovery (1.7mt at 2.8g/t) successfully extended the zone of mineralisation from 600m to 2km. the company is planning a revised resource estimate for early 2008. Navigator Resources Managing Director, Tom Sanders said the appearance of the Taurus Resources Fund on the register was a significant milestone for the company. He said the capital raising will allow Navigator to further increase the rate of drilling to fast-track the resource build to meet its mid-2009 production target. “Our key objective is low-cost, long-life production and to achieve this we need a sizeable resource platform that gives us low-cost development options,” Mr Sanders said. Early scoping studies announced in July provided strong encouragement for mining from several open pits. Navigator’s focus has been on defining shallow ounces to obtain the critical mass for open pit mining. Mr Sanders said that an increased drilling budget, made possible by the placement, will allow Navigator to commence assessing the underground potential as well. “Our cost for establishing one ounce of gold in resource is approximately $8 per ounce, so in effect we are creating value while increasing the size of the project and expanding our low-cost development options,” he said. A lot of the early pre-feasibility work has commenced at the project and will be stepped-up while drilling is in progress to reduce the time frame on the resource to reserve conversion process. “Once the open pit scenarios are defined and the scale of operation finalised, we can move on to the underground studies,” Mr Sanders said. “We have 35km of highly prospective greenstone to play with, but we need to draw a line in the sand at some point and focus on cash flow. Of course this does not mean that the resource build and value creation will stop,” he said.