Giants Reef update
Nick Byrne fills us in
Giants Reef was formed as a prospecting syndicate in 1985 and we incorporated
as a proprietary company in 1986. We never really intended going public
- we were just going to find lots of mines and make squillions of dollars
and live happily ever after.
We're still doing that but we didn't find mines and make squillions
of dollars so what we did do, after a couple of approaches from different
brokers, we listed on the Stock Exchange in June 1993 and from then
on we've had subscription funds to carry out the exploration.
We spend about $1.8 million a year on exploration in Tennant Creek and
up until recently we employed about 7 people, plus contractors. There
were seven full-time employees, including myself and Vera, who are the
founders of the company, with another bloke called Phil Purich, who's
In June this year Giants Reef bought out all the shares in Normandy
Tennant Creek, which was Normandy's operating company for its interests
in the Tennant Creek goldfield. So now we have pretty well all of the
historical goldfield owned by Giants Reef. The company Normandy Tennant
Creek we're going to keep going as an entity. It's had a name change,
it's now called Santexco - the South Australian Northern Territory Exploration
Company - a bit like Santos, which is South Australian Northern Territory
Oil Search except this is exploration company instead of oil search.
One of the great assets that was in the purchase was Normandy's interest
in the Chariot deposit, which is, to date, about 350,000 tonnes averaging
about 18 to 20 grams of gold per tonne. It's very good ore, there's
no copper associated with it, and we expect to get 98% or better recovery
from a very short residence time in the cyanide tanks, and a very small
consumption of cyanide, which is environmentally very good. It's only
about 0.2 to 0.4 of a kilogram per tonne of ore treated, which was rather
So what we're doing now is clearing the site at the TC8 getting ready
for production. The original mill that was here is in storage in Adelaide,
and it was on its way first to Ecuador and then it was going to New
Guinea. Both of those projects failed and so I think we were meant to
have this mill. We've bought the original mill that was here. We're
going to bring it back and put it back on its original foundations.
The schedule for that is to start bringing it back in September of this
year, with a view to commissioning it in the first quarter of next year.
We expect our first gold production in the first quarter of next year.
On the Chariot deposit we haven't quite completed our feasibility on
that yet. We know that it's feasible, but there are certain engineering
programs that have to be completed, and the mining contractors that
have to be negotiated where we plan to mine in conjunction with Roach's.
Roach Mining will develop the decline and deliver the ore to TC8. It's
going to be an underground by decline and the ore trucks from underground
will drive straight to TC8 and drop the ore here, they won't be putting
it down at Chariot.
Chariot's situated 5 kilometres due west of TC8, so we're currently
getting quotes to install electricity there from the Power and Water
Authority. We're also having, because the new railway line is going
to go between TC8 and Chariot, a railway crossing with lights and bells
installed so that the ore trucks don't have to stop each time they come
to the crossing.
The digging is expected to start in late September to mid October and
at the same time as mining Chariot, Giants Reef discovered a small deposit
at a place called Edna Beryl, which is about 40 kilometres north of
At Edna Beryl we've got 7 to 10,000 tonnes of ore defined there, averaging
about 30 grams of gold per tonne. Craig Mining are going to do the mining
at Edna Beryl, and that will be blended with some of the lower grade
ore that's near the surface at Chariot.
Chariot's going to start as a small open pit so that we can have a portal
for the commencement of the decline, which is really the orifice from
where the decline starts.
Some of that low grade ore, low grade for Tennant Creek - it's about
5 grams per tonne - will be blended with the high grade, 30 grams Edna
Beryl ore and it'll be fed through the mill at roughly the grade of
the Chariot Ore, which is 18 - 20 grams.
So, that will have been our seventeenth year when we start production
next year, we'll get our first cash flow from the Tennant Creek goldfield,
which is pretty exciting and rewarding after all these years of effort.
In summary: we started, we took out our first tenements in Tennant Creek
as a syndicate over the old Gigantic Mine in November 1985, we incorporated
about the middle of 1986, and then we continued exploring here, and
in the Top End. We had a high grade gold prospect at a place called
Sundance, and in 1986, in joint venture with a company called Henry
and Walker, Kumagai-Gumi, we mined some gold there which gave us our
first cash flow from gold.
We then shifted our office to here in 1992, and in June 1993 we listed
on the exchange. In June this year, 2001, we paid $7 million to Normandy
for all of the shares in Normandy Tennant Creek and so in September-October
of 2001 we will start digging, and we will start the development of
Chariot and Edna Beryl and also bring the TC8 mill back from Adelaide
to the site here. And so in the first quarter of 2002 we expect to have
our first gold pour.