Bronzewing Gold Mine
Gold on calcite, Bronzewing Mine
|Active||1991–2004 2008–2009 2010–2013|
|Company||Navigator Resources Limited|
|Year of acquisition||October 2009|
The Bronzewing Gold Mine is a gold mine located approximately 83 km north-east of Leinster, Western Australia. The mine, owned by Navigator Resources Limited, is, since March 2013, in care and maintenance after its owner went into administration.
Discovered by Mark Creasy, the sale of the Bronzewing deposit earned him an entry into the Guinness Book of Records, becoming the prospector receiving the richest payout, having received A$115 million for it from Great Central Mines.
The Bronzewing Gold Mine opened in 1991, then under the ownership of Great Central Mines, a company led by the ordained Rabbi Joseph Gutnick. Great Central Mines purchased the remaining 30% of the mine it didn't own in early 1995. On 20 May 1999, Bronzewing produced its 1,000,000th ounce of gold.
GMC was taken over by Normandy Mining, with Bronzewing, the Jundee Gold Mine and the Wiluna Gold Mine, in 1999 but continued trading until mid-2000. GMC acquired the Mt McClure Gold Mine, near Bronzewing, in September 1999 and integrating it in the later. Normandy, in turn, was taken over by the Newmont Mining Corporation in February 2002.
From 1991 to 2004, the mine produced over 3.0 million ounces of gold from eleven open cut and three underground operations, with the last of the later having closed shortly before the sale of the mine to View Resources.
View Resources purchased the mine in July 2004 from Newmont for A$9.0 million, a package that also included the McClure mining operation, 8 km west of Bronzewing. The company initially placed the mine in care and maintenance and hoped to resume production in mid-2005.
It later deferred the start of production date, making the final payment to Newmont in regards to the Bronzewing purchase in July 2005. In October 2006, View announced it would redevelop the plant at Bronzewing and target a mid-2007 start date for production.
The company resumed mining at Bronzewing from underground and open pit sources in April 2007. On 17 May 2007, it announced its first gold pour at Bronzewing. It forecasted a mine life of 4.5 years at an annual production rate of 120,000 ounces of gold, hoping to extend these figures. Mining was carried out in two open pit locations, the Success and the Central Pit, and two underground declines, Discovery and Calista.
On 6 February 2008, the directors of the company announced a production short fall, with only 6,500 ounces produced instead of the expected 10,000 for the January month. This was blamed on a grade short fall. As an immediate action, View suspended underground mining.
View Resources Limited went into administration on 8 February 2008, ending all mining activities on site.
Navigator Resources announced on 2 April 2009 that it intended to purchase the Bronzewing mine for A$9.55 million plus an $6.45 million environmental bond. Navigator planned to resume mining from open pit sources in January 2010. The acquisition of Bronzewing was completed on 1 October 2009 and Navigator set the date for first gold production to April 2010. Shortly after, on 7 October, the administrators of View Resources Gold, Ferrier Hodgson, announced that the company will eventually go into liquidation.
Navigator carried out its first gold pour at the mine on 21 April 2010. The mine produced 11,409 ounces of gold for the financial year 2009-10, all from the final quarter of the year, with a production forecast of 101,000 ounces for the following year. Ore shortfalls caused the mine to underperform in its first full year of operation, with only 75,000 ounces processed. Navigator was forced to cut back its production projection for 2011-12 to 75,000 to 80,000 ounces and to raise additional cash through a A$32.6 million renouncable rights issue.
On 28 March 2013 Navigator Resources, owner of the miner, went into administration, with an estimated debt of A$30 million. The reason for the failure of the Bronzewing project was seen in the low grades the mine produced and the high labour costs in Australia. Approximately 200 staff at the mine were laid off and mining operations were halted by the appointed administrator, Pitcher Partners.
On 7 January 2014 it was announced that the mine had been sold to Metaliko Resources for A$4.82 million. The sale is scheduled to be completed by 28 February 2014.
The mine suffered one of the worst disasters in recent Western Australian mining history when three employees were killed in the underground operations. Troy Terrence Woodard (26),Timothy Lee Bell (21) and Shane Hamill (45) were trapped 450 metres underground when 18,000 cubic metres of sand-slurry, sludge, mud and rock broke through a storage area on 26 June 2000.
In May 1998, Francis Thomas Grubb (34) was fatally crushed against a wall by the bucket of an 11-metre loader.
Annual production of the mine: On 20 May 1999, Bronzewing produced its 1,000,000th ounce of gold.
|Year||Production||Grade||Cost per ounce|
|1997-98 ||272,524 ounces||5.00 g/t||A$256|
|1998-99 ||291,415 ounces||5.30 g/t||US$204|
|2000 ||197,681 ounces||4.04 g/t||A$387|
|2001 ||311,506 ounces||5.1 g/t||A$294|
|2002 1 ||197,846 ounces||4.38 g/t||A$403|
|2006-07 ||1,731 ounces|
|July - September 2007 ||17,600 ounces|
|October - December 2007 ||25,406 ounces||1.86 g/t|
|2009-10 ||11,409 ounces||1.17 g/t|
|2010-11 ||75,423 ounces||1.18 g/t||A$1,135|
|2011-12 ||50,966 ounces||1.19 g/t||A$1,540|
|July - December 2012 ||48,792 ounces||1.32 g/t||A$1,297|
- 1 Figures for January to September 2002.
- The Australian Mines Handbook: 2003-2004 Edition, Louthean Media Pty Ltd, Editor: Ross Louthean
- Western Australian Mineral and Petroleum Statistics Digest 2008 Page 34: Principal Mineral and Petroleum Producers - Gold
- Miners out of work as Navigator sinks The West Australian, published: 2 April 2013, accessed: 9 April 2013
- "View Acquires Bronzewing". View Resources Limited website. 15 June 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
- Bronzewing gold mine is flying again mineweb.com, published: 18 October 2007, accessed: 15 December 2009
- Minerals boom leads to Bronzewing revival Australian Broadcasting Corporation, broadcast: 27 November 2006, accessed: 15 December 2009
- Mark Creasy - Prospector Newsletter of the Australian Miners Hall of Fame, published: April 2001, accessed: 15 December 2009
- Gold Mine Stakes Sold The New York Times, published: 6 February 1995, accessed: 19 December 2009
- Fourth Quarter Activities Report - Part A GMC ASX announcement, published: 30 July 1999, accessed: 14 February 2010
- Acq. of Mt McClure gold operations/ass. tenement interests GCM ASX announcement, published: 6 September 1999, accessed: 14 February 2010
- View Project Owners: Jundee - Nimary accessed: 19 December 2009
- "Bronzewing". View Resources Limited website. 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "View Completes Bronzewing Acquisition". View Resources Limited. 15 July 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
- "Bronzewing Poised For Redevelopment". View Resources Limited. 24 October 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "View pours first gold at Bronzewing". View Resources Limited. 17 May 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "8,830 Ozs Produced at Bronzewing in October and Carnilya Hill on Track". View Resources Limited. 9 November 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Bronzewing Update". View Resources Limited website. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Appointment of Administrator". View Resources Limited. 8 February 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- BRONZEWING ACQUISITION TARGETS IMMINENT GOLD PRODUCTION Navigator website, published 2 April 2009, accessed: 15 December 2009
- RENOUNCEABLE RIGHTS ISSUE SHORTFALL Navigator Resources ASX announcement, published: 11 December 2009, accessed: 15 December 2009
- "Update to Shareholders" (PDF). Ferrier Hodgson. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- First Gold Pour at Both Bronzewing and Leonora Gold Projects Navigator ASX announcement, published: 21 April 2010, accessed: 7 May 2010
- Quarterly report June 2010 Navigator ASX announcement, published: 26 July 2010, accessed: 29 July 2010
- Quarterly Activities Report June 2011 Navigator ASX announcement, published: 29 July 2011, accessed: 29 July 2011
- Administrator questions Navigator Resources' model Australian Broadcasting Corporation, published: 3 April 2013, accessed: 9 April 2013
- Miner 'crushed by low grade and high costs' Australian Broadcasting Corporation, published: 5 April 2013, accessed: 9 April 2013
- MKO: Project Acquisition ASX announcement, published: 7 January 2014, accessed: 3 February 2014
- Three miners trapped in West Australian gold mine World Socialist Web Site, published 1 July 2000, accessed: 15 December 2009
- Minister calls meeting of mining industry chiefs to drive safety Government of Western Australia, published: 7 September 2000, accessed: 15 December 2009
- Fourth Quarter Activities Report - Part B GMC ASX announcement, published: 30 July 1998, accessed: 14 February 2010
- Normandy Mining Ltd - 1999 Mine-by-Mine Operating Results accessed: 14 February 2010
- The Australian Mines Handbook: 2003-2004 Edition, page 73
- "Annual Report 2006-2007". View Resources Limited. 28 September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Bronzewing Performance Update". View Resources Limited. 12 October 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Quarterly Activity Report for Period ended 31 December 2007". View Resources Limited. 25 January 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- Quarterly Activities Report June 2012 Navigator ASX announcement, published: 31 July 2012, accessed: 9 April 2013
- Quarterly Activities Report December 2012 Navigator ASX announcement, published: 18 January 2013, accessed: 9 April 2013
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