Greatland Gold plc (AIM:GGP), a mining development and exploration company with a focus on precious and base metals , announces its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2022.
The 2022 Annual Report is available for download on our website at https://greatlandgold.com and will be mailed out to registered shareholders.
I am delighted with the progress of Greatland Gold plc (“Company”) and the consolidated group (“Greatland” or the “Group”) in what has been a landmark year for the Company. We achieved several key milestones at our flagship asset Havieron, including delivery of a Pre-Feasibility Study followed by our own independent mineral resource update that substantially increased the Havieron r esource. The decline construction and other surface infrastructure activities continued at pace and we have taken major steps towards bringing a tier-one gold-copper project into production.
We also launched our inaugural Sustainability Report, which forms a key part of our commitment to being a modern and sustainable resource company, and we have cultivated a world class Board and Executive team to match our ambitions as we mature beyond a junior explorer to a resource development company.
Havieron Joint Venture
The pace of development at Havieron from our original discovery is extraordinary, such is the benefit of having Australia’s largest gold producer Newcrest Mining Limited (“Newcrest”, ASX: NCM) as a joint venture partner. This partnership with an experienced operator in the region has enabled a greater level of investment in Havieron and an extensive programme of infill and growth drilling has enhanced our understanding of the scale of the deposit and accelerated its development.
During the year, a Pre-Feasibility Study was released on an initial segment of the Havieron deposit which has detailed a development pathway to first gold production and operating cashflow. The study revealed the tip of the iceberg for Havieron with a fraction of the initial resource supporting the total capex of the project, justifying the fast start approach to early cashflow generation and reinvesting back into Havieron development and infrastructure. This supports our belief that the profile of Havieron makes it a globally unique opportunity for bringing a low risk, low capex tier-one gold-copper mine into production.
The Havieron gold-copper discovery is a world class deposit and continues to deliver excellent results, with significant intercepts of high-grade gold and copper continuing to be found outside of and below the known resource shell. With over 250,000 metres of drilling now completed, together with Newcrest, we continue to enhance our understanding of the deposit and of the likelihood of continuing to update and upgrade Havieron’s Resource and Reserve.
In March 2022, the Company announced an independently verified update to the Mineral Resource and Reserve to the Pre-Feasibility Study, reflecting an additional 10 months of impressive drilling results. The Mineral Resource increased by 50% to 5.5Moz Au and 218Kt Cu and Reserve increased to 2.4Moz Au and 109Kt Cu, evidence that with each graduating study the size of Havieron gets larger and larger.
In addition, the Board is delighted that Greatland will retain 30% ownership in the Company’s flagship asset on conclusion of the 5% option process under the Havieron Joint Venture agreement. We believe this outcome delivers substantial medium and long term value to Greatland.
Juri Joint Venture
We are making great progress at the Company’s second joint venture with Newcrest – Juri (“Juri JV”) where the first year exploration programme was completed and results revealed the discovery of broad intersections and continuity of gold mineralisation at Black Hills. The results of the exploration programme along with conducting geophysical surveys and other tests have been valuable to refine and assess new targets for the second year programme, currently underway. Newcrest has advanced the Juri JV to Stage 2, which enables a potential increase in Newcrest’s investment in the programme without the need for Greatland to self-fund these activities.
100% owned projects
We remain excited by several other 100% owned prospects that display similar geophysical characteristics to the Havieron gold-copper deposit, particularly in the Paterson region. At Scallywag, adjacent to the Havieron project, exploration drilling completed during the year identified gold mineralisation had been intercepted in four of the seven holes. Adding to this, electromagnetic testing identified new conductor targets which further increases our confidence regarding prospectivity for finding mineralised systems at Scallywag.
In addition, aero magnetic testing across our expanded footprint in the Paterson region has uncovered strong gravity and near coincident magnetic anomalies at the 100% owned Canning and Paterson South licences. Both targets are analogous to the magnetic and gravity anomaly associated with the Havieron gold-copper deposit, and follow-up exploration is warranted.
The Group significantly expanded its footprint in the Paterson province after agreement was reached with Province Resources Limited to acquire the 100% owned Pascalle tenement, the 100% owned Taunton tenement plus applications for two exploration licences. This enabled the Group to expand its position in the Paterson province to more than 1,000 square kilometres, including a prospective area strategically located between Havieron and Telfer.
During the year, Greatland was recognised and awarded the winner of the 2021 Commodity Discovery Fund award for its Havieron discovery, tremendous recognition of Greatland’s exploration team.
Greatland is committed to safe, responsible and sustainable exploration and we continue to focus on improving health and safety training and processes, and on further strengthening our relationships with the indigenous communities in the areas that we operate as well as on our Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) focus for developing a responsible and sustainable resources company. In May 2022, the Group published its first Sustainability Report, a current state assessment of material items related to ESG matters. This assessment reveals a compliance driven approach to ESG and forms a baseline to define a roadmap, enabling our business operations to enhance our sustainability footprint.
The Group’s financial position was fortified during and post year end. A combination of fundraises, including proceeds raised from new cornerstone investment partners, allowed the Company to secure a total of £11.9 million during the year, with an additional £29.7 million raised in August 2022. In September 2022, Greatland executed a debt commitment letter with a syndicate of leading international banks of A$220 million (£130 million) and an equity investment by Wyloo Metals of an initial strategic equity subscription of A$60 million (£35 million) plus an option to acquire up to an additional £35 million of Greatland shares at £0.1 per share.
As announced on 14 July 2022, Greatland successfully renegotiated the contingent consideration due under the original 2016 Havieron acquisition, agreeing with the vendor to issue a reduced number of shares and impose a two-year restriction on the dealing of these shares. This reflects the vendor’s support for Greatland and conviction in Havieron.
During the year Greatland also underwent a transition to significantly enhance its organisational capability to match its growth in corporate profile and have the required skillset and expertise to oversee the development of its flagship Havieron asset. Under the leadership of Managing Director, Shaun Day, a number of high calibre new appointments were made in the areas of resource geology, mine engineering, processing, corporate development, legal and finance. After the retirement of Callum Baxter, Executive Director, during the year, the Board was bolstered with the appointment of Paul Hallam as Non-Executive Director, an industry veteran with four decades of Australian and international resource experience.
Subsequent to the year end, Greatland further strengthened its Board capability announcing the intention of three transformational appointments of Australian corporate and mining industry leaders to assist the Company in fulfilling its ambition to be a world class resource development company. James ‘Jimmy’ Wilson, a former senior executive at BHP including the former President of its iron ore division, joined as Executive Director on 12 September 2022. Mark Barnaba, eminent natural resources investment banker and Deputy Chair of A$50 billion ASX-listed Fortescue Metals Group Ltd will join as Non-Executive Chairman on or before 1 January 2023, at which time I will assume a senior Non-Executive role, and Elizabeth Gaines, former Fortescue CEO and Managing Director will join as a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair on or before 1 January 2023. The addition of such a high-quality team of successful professionals is a strong validation of the quality of Greatland’s assets, recognition of our strong management team developed under our Managing Director, Shaun Day, and our potential for significant value creation for our shareholders.
Greatland benefits from operating many of its assets in a tier-one mining jurisdiction of Western Australia. The Fraser Institute 2021 Annual Survey of Mining Companies ranked Western Australia as the number one jurisdiction out of 84 worldwide based on mining investment attractiveness during the year. This provides further support and security around Greatland’s exploration and development assets. The remote location, coupled with public health protocols has resulted in minimal impact of COVID-19 on operations. At Havieron the JV Manager, Newcrest, has implemented a COVID-19 plan and maintained measures to reduce and mitigate the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic to its project workforce and key stakeholders, and development has continued without interruption.
Havieron provides an outstanding cornerstone project on which to develop and pursue our aim to become a multi asset producer. It enables us to leverage our established footprint and proven methodology in the Paterson region, one of the world’s most attractive jurisdictions for discoveries of tier-one, gold-copper deposits.
I would like to thank my fellow Board members, the management team and our staff for their excellent work and efforts over the last year, which have seen us take such great leaps forward. On behalf of the Board, I thank our shareholders for their strong support and their committed engagement with Greatland. We are focused on executing our strategy to realise our ambitions and maximise shareholder value over the long term. We look forward to an exciting future with a high degree of anticipation for the Company’s ongoing success.
The Managing Director presents the strategic report on the Group for the year ended 30 June 2022.
Principal activities, strategies and business model
The principal activity of the Group is to explore for and develop precious and base metal assets. The Board seeks to increase shareholder value by advancing the development of the Havieron gold-copper project, the systematic exploration of its existing resource assets, and by consideration of financially disciplined opportunities to improve the asset portfolio.
The Group’s strategy and business model is developed by the Managing Director and is approved by the Board. The Managing Director who reports to the Board is responsible for implementing the strategy and organisational matters with the leadership team.
The Group aspires to become a multi-commodity resources company of significant scale. This includes a focus on the creation of a modern and sustainable resource business with responsible behaviours and environmental stewardship to deliver long term success.
Business development and performance
The financial year ended 30 June 2022 represented a period of substantial growth and organisational transition for the Company. During the year, Greatland successfully advanced development and exploration across its portfolio of project assets with several milestones achieved on the pathway to developing the Group’s flagship asset, the world class Havieron gold-copper project in the Paterson region of Western Australia, discovered by Greatland and under a joint venture with Newcrest.
Havieron Project, Western Australia (Greatland: 30%)
Havieron is currently in development under a joint venture with Newcrest, Australia’s largest gold producer. Havieron was discovered by Greatland in 2018 and has become established as one of the most exciting long-life gold-copper deposits in development worldwide. It provides Greatland with a strategic position in the Paterson Province of Western Australia, one of the leading frontiers for the discovery of tier-one gold-copper deposits.
Newcrest assumed management of the Joint Venture in May 2019 and has since been undertaking the ore body definition and technical studies required to support regulatory approvals and investment decisions for a staged development plan. Havieron is located just 45 kilometres from Newcrest’s Telfer mine. This allows Havieron to leverage Telfer’s existing infrastructure and processing plant to significantly reduce the project’s capital expenditure and carbon impact for a low-cost pathway to development under an ore tolling arrangement.
The Stage 1 Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) was completed on 12 October 2021, a study that only covered a portion of Havieron’s South-East Crescent segment, reflecting a staged approach to the evaluation and development of the project. The PFS outlined the pathway to achieve commercial production within two to three years and delivered outstanding economics as the maiden PFS supports the upfront capex of developing the project while generating strong early cash flow, internal rate of return and payback. The study was a point in time analysis using a February 2021 cut-off date for drilling with significant additional information now available to be incorporated into future studies.
Infill and growth drilling continued during the year and has returned excellent results demonstrating continuity of high-grade mineralisation at Havieron with expansion of the mineralisation across all four current zones – South East Crescent, Eastern Breccia, North West Crescent and Northern Breccia. Drilling reinforced the potential for the Eastern Breccia corridor to host crescent style high grade mineralisation. Havieron remains open laterally and at depth.
In March 2022, Greatland independently updated the Havieron Mineral Resource which demonstrated a substantial increase to the Resource and Reserve announced in the maiden PFS, reflecting an additional 10 months of consistently impressive drilling results. This update increased the Mineral Resource estimate from 4.4 million gold equivalent ounces outlined in the PFS to 6.5 million ounces of gold equivalent, an increase of almost 50% and highlighted an 86% conversion of resource to reserve reinforcing the quality of the Havieron asset and demonstrating a significant annual growth rate of Havieron. For the first time, material from the Eastern Breccia was included in the mineral resource estimate reflecting the expansion of the Havieron system.
In July 2021, an official naming ceremony was held at site, where the entrance to Havieron was renamed Kalajartu, being the traditional Martu name for this place including the nearby camp on Martu country.
Early works construction activities continued at Havieron following the completion of the box cut and portal entrance enabling the start of the decline, which commenced in May 2021. The exploration decline development had reached 489 metres just after the end of the financial year, despite a period of slower advancement when navigating through a section of unconsolidated ground. The ground conditions improved during the last quarter and subsequent to the year end the improved conditions have enabled first full face blast allowing for a notable acceleration of the decline advancement. The first ventilation shaft blind bore was completed marking a major milestone which significantly reduces the risk to future ventilation shaft construction. Works to progress the necessary approvals and permits required to commence the development of an operating underground mine and associated infrastructure at the Havieron project continued to progress.
Work on the Feasibility Study (“FS”) continued during the year along with concurrent studies assessing growth options for Havieron. The FS is planned to be extended to allow further time to maximise value and de-risk the project.
Juri Joint Venture, Western Australia (Greatland: 49%)
The Juri Joint Venture consists of the Black Hills and Paterson Range East exploration licences in the prospective Paterson region. Under the joint venture with Newcrest, Newcrest has the right to earn up to a 75% interest by spending up to A$20 million in total as part of a two-stage farm-in over five years.
The Juri JV undertook an exploration drilling programme over the Black Hills and Paterson Range East tenements with encouraging results. This saw the completion of a nine-hole drill programme and ground electromagnetic surveys at Black Hills refined and identified prospective conductor targets for further drilling.
In October 2021, the Juri JV advanced to Stage 2 marking an extension and potential increase in investment from A$3 million to A$20 million by Newcrest. This additional investment potentially enables Greatland to expand and accelerate the 2022 Juri exploration programme without the need to self-fund this activity. Furthermore, this commitment reflects the strength of our relationship with Newcrest and our mutual belief in the benefits of our partnership to uncover further deposits in the highly prospective Paterson region.
Subsequent to the year end, drilling commenced at Black Hills, testing a conductive plate interpreted from the electromagnetic surveys. Further drilling is planned at Paterson Range East targeting electromagnetic anomalies with coincident, geochemical or magnetic and gravity anomalies.
100% owned projects
Scallywag project, Western Australia
Adjacent to the Havieron mining lease, containing a further 20 kilometres of strike of Yeneena Group metasediments located directly to the north-west of Havieron.
Exploration work over the Scallywag licence E45/4701 consisted of airborne Electro Magnetic (“EM”) surveying and target identification of several discrete EM anomalies that were identified along strike from known mineralisation on the Black Hills tenement . Diamond drilling and downhole EM work are ongoing to further refine these targets.
A second tenement along trend to the northwest of Scallywag (Wanman licence E45/6134) was applied for during the period. The ballot process was decided in the Company’s favour and the tenure has progressed to negotiation of a land access agreement.
Greater Paterson projects, Western Australia
The Greater Paterson project includes four granted exploration licences; Rudall, Canning, Pascalle, Taunton and two exploration licence applications (Salvation Well North and Salvation Well). The Paterson project is located in the Paterson region of northern Western Australia. The licences collectively cover more than 1,000 square kilometres of ground which is considered prospective for intrusion related gold-copper systems and Telfer style gold deposits along with the Havieron gold-copper resource.
During the year the Company was granted two exploration licences E45/5862 (Canning) and E45/5533 (Rudall).
A recent heritage survey conducted across the Havieron style magnetic anomaly on the Rudall prospect will enable this target to be refined with ground electromagnetics and drill tested within the current field season. A further heritage survey is planned for the Canning tenement this field season to allow for drill testing in 2023.
In September 2021, the Group entered into an agreement with Province Resources Limited to acquire the 100% owned Pascalle tenement, the 100% owned Taunton tenement and two tenement applications for exploration licences in the Paterson Province of Western Australia. This enabled the Group to expand its footprint in the Paterson province by over 1,000 square kilometres, including a prospective area strategically located between Havieron and Telfer.
Ernest Giles project, Western Australia
The Ernest Giles project is located in central Western Australia, covering an area of approximately 1,950 square kilometres with around 180 kilometres of strike of rocks prospective for gold. The eastern Yilgarn Craton is one of the most highly mineralised areas in Western Australia and is considered prospective for large gold deposits.
During the year, Greatland refined its geological interpretation and identified targets with settings strongly indicating Mt Magnet style mafic BIF, Wallaby style syenite and typical Yilgarn style greenstone deposits within the previously tested Meadows prospect. Follow up drilling and geophysical surveys have been planned to test these targets. During the period the Company also continued positive ongoing Native Title land access agreement negotiations with traditional owners.
Panorama project, Western Australia
The Panorama project consists of three adjoining exploration licences, covering 157 square kilometres, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, in an area that is considered to be highly prospective for gold and cobalt.
During the period, Greatland engaged external consultants to complete processing and interpretation of the Airborne Electro-Magnetic (“AEM”) survey previously completed. This work identified fifteen priority targets from a total of twenty eight discrete anomalies. Twelve of these are associated with Ni prospective mafic-ultramafic rocks. In addition, several of the previous surface sampling anomalies identified pathfinder geochemical targets. A programme of surface geology mapping and soil sampling has been planned for nine distinct areas, encompassing the AEM. A native title land access agreement was successfully negotiated and signed with the Palyku group allowing immediate access to the ground.
Bromus project, Western Australia
The Bromus project is located 25 kilometres South-West of Norseman in the southern Yilgarn region of Western Australia. The Bromus project consists of two licences, covering 87 square kilometres of under-explored greenstone and intrusive granites of the Archean Yilgarn Block at the southern end of the Kalgoorlie-Norseman belt.
During the period, Greatland identified an RC drill target based on soil sampling which returned anomalous Cu, Zn and Ag coincident with an airborne EM anomaly. A surface sampling program is also recommended to follow up anomalous gold in soils in the north of the Bromus tenement. Greatland also advanced land access negotiations.
Firetower project, Tasmania
The Firetower project is located in central north Tasmania, Australia and covers an area of 62 square kilometres.
During the year the Group obtained a two-year extension to the term of this licence and proposed ground geophysics, and diamond and RC drilling. The Firetower project has strong base metals mineralisation and porphyry copper potential over a 5 kilometres long structure.
Warrentinna project, Tasmania
The Warrentinna project is located 60 kilometres North-East of Launceston in north-eastern Tasmania and covers an area of 37 square kilometres with 15 kilometres of strike prospective for gold.
During the period Greatland undertook Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) logging of its completed diamond and RC drilling in order to refine the alteration interpretation and vector to high grade mineralisation.
A two-year extension of term was applied for and granted.
Further details regarding developments by project can be found on the Company’s website at: https://greatlandgold.com/projects/
On 5 May 2022, the Group published its first Sustainability Report, a current state assessment of material items related to ESG matters. This assessment reveals a combination of values orientation together with a compliance driven approach and forms a baseline to define a roadmap, enabling our business operations to enhance our sustainability footprint. This report is an important and natural step as Greatland evolves from an explorer to developer and to becoming a multi-commodity producer. The Sustainability Report can be found on the Company’s website at: https://greatlandgold.com/sustainability/
Greatland Gold PLC
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