BY ELIZABETH FABRI
PERTH-based gold miner Northern Star has invested $23.2 million in junior explorer Echo Resources to expand its footprint near its Jundee gold mine.
Echo Resources, which holds tenements immediately south of Jundee, is planning to develop a new Yandal gold project utilising its nearby mothballed Bronzewing processing plant.
In early December, Northern Star purchased 80 million Echo shares at an average price of $0.29, obtaining a 16.4 per cent interest in the company.
Its investment came a week after Echo released an updated ore reserve for the project of 15.6 million tonnes grading 1.7 grams per tonne for 856,000oz of gold, and a little over a month since Echo undertook a $15 million capital raising.
Echo chief executive Simon Coxhell said the Northern Star investment was a “clear endorsement of its Yandal Gold strategy”.
“It was less than 12 months ago that we completed the merger of Echo and Metaliko, which resulted in a company with a 1600sqkm package of some of the best underexplored gold ground in WA plus a clear and cost-effective pathway to production with ownership of the Bronzewing Processing Hub,” Mr Coxhell said.
“Since then Echo has increased its global resource base, and is well advanced on a Bankable Feasibility Study to commence production through the Bronzewing Processing Hub.”
According to recent reports, the Bronzewing Processing Hub only required a $17 million spend to be refurbished and operational.
In 2018, the company has an active exploration program scheduled to continue to grow its resource base and transition to production.
“We are pleased that a company of the stature of Northern Star shares our vision and we look forward to a successful 2018,” he said.