Gidgee Gold Mine
Kingfisher open pit at Gidgee.
|Year of acquisition||2011|
The Gidgee Gold Mine is a gold mine in Western Australia, 82 km north of the town of Sandstone. The mine was, until recently, owned by APEX Minerals NL, but purchased by Panoramic Resources in February 2011. The mine is currently in care and maintenance.
The mine was scheduled to reopen in late 2008 but delays experienced forced APEX to postpone this date to mid-2010. Gidgee is part of a three mine production strategy, together with the Wiluna Gold Mine and the Youanmi Gold Mine.
While in operation under Australian Resources Limited, liquidated in October 1999, the company had to close the mine because of financial difficulties. Abelle Limited took over Gidgee in October 1999 and resumed production in February 2000.
Under Abelle, mining was mainly carried out in the South Woodya, Donkey Well and Wahoo open pit and the Swan Bitter underground operation. At the end of 2002, Abelle ceased mining in open pit operations at Gidgee, the only ore now coming from the Swan Bitter underground operation. As a consequence of reduced ore production, milling was reduced to a two weeks on, one week off roster.
In February 2003, Harmony Gold launched a take over offer for Abelle Limited. By the end of April 2003, Harmony had acquired an 85% interest in Abelle and declared the offer closed. The purchase of a controlling interest in Abelle cost Harmony A$155 million and was primarily carried out to acquire Abelle's gold mining projects in Papua New Guinea. The driving forces behind Abelle Limited, Sydney businessmen Peter Cook and Peter Newton, earlier had also sold another gold mining company to Harmony, Hill 50 Gold, for A$233 million in 2002. Abelle was delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange on 2 July 2004, following a compulsory acquisition by Harmony.
In November 2003, Legend Mining, previously only engaged in Silver mining, announced that it had purchased Gidgee for A$6.5 million. At the time, Gidgee had produced over 1 million ounces of gold during its lifetime. Legend took over the mine on 17 December 2003.
Under Legend, production at Gidgee was reduced, the company carrying out extensive exploration efforts but reducing the milling to a two-week on, two week off roster. Legend placed the mine in care and maintenance in March 2005, stating that operating costs in the Western Australian mining industry had risen by 35-45% over the last 15 month while the gold price had remained relatively fixed, making the operation less viable.
In May 2007, legend announced the sale of the mine to APEX Minerals for A$11 million, payable in APEX shares. Additionally, Legend would receive A$5 million once Gidgee had produced in excess of 250,000 ounces of gold and retain certain tenements for Nickel exploration.
APEX's initial plan was, to refurbish and enlarge the Gidgee processing plant and use it as a central processing facility for ore from its Youanmi Gold Mine and Gidgee, where it would mine the Wilson deposit. Production was to commence in 18 to 24 month. With the acquisition of the Wiluna Gold Mine in June 2007, Wiluna replaced Gidgee as the location of the central processing facility. Gidgee, like Youanmi, were to serve as mining locations only, with ore from Gidgee to be transported to Wiluna, 130 km north-east of Gidgee.
APEX announced in June 2008, that it would start developing an underground decline from its Wilson 3 pit at Gidgee in October 2008, followed by first ore production in early 2009. The company revised this plan, however and decided to only proceed with the development of the Wiluna mine. It halted all exploration activities at Gidgee and Younami, too. Difficulties encountered in the underground mining and plant commissioning at Wiluna forced APEX to go through a number of capital raisings, the latest in September 2009, when the company raised A$108 million. Consequently, APEX share price fell from a height of A$1.40 in early 2008 to below 4 cent by the end of 2009.
Subsequently, APEX returned to its previously abandoned strategy of sourcing ore from Gidgee as well as Wiluna for its processing facility. It now plans to commence mining at Gidgee once more in March 2010. In late December 2009, APEX announced a further delay with the development of the Gidgee mine because of the need of an upgrade of the Gidgee - Wiluna road. APEX anticipated that mining could be delayed another two or three month, but, as of the end of July 2010, no further mention of the Gidgee mine being reopened has been made.
In early 2011, the sale of the mine to Panoramic Resources was announced. APEX however retained the rights to the Wilson deposit. Panoramic purchased the mine for A$15.5 million and announced plans to refurbish the production facilities. In May 2012 Panoramic completed the purchase of the Wilsons Gold Project from APEX.
Previous owners of the Gidgee Gold Mine:
|Australian Resources Limited||?||October 1999|
|Abelle Limited||October 1999||April 2003|
|Harmony Gold||April 2003||December 2003|
|Legend Mining||December 2003||May 2007|
|APEX Minerals NL||May 2007||February 2011|
|Panoramic Resources||February 2011||Present|
Production of the mine:
|Year||Production||Grade||Cost per ounce|
|2001 ||67,131 ounces||3.98 g/t|
|2002 ||61,780 ounces||A$415|
|2003 ||62,032 ounces|
|2004 ||42,297 ounces||5.68 g/t||A$516|
|2005 ||6,860 ounces||6.61 g/t||A$612|
- 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
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gidgee Gold Mine.|
- Gidgee Gold Project - Completion of Purchase Panoramic Resources ASX announcement, published: 22 February 2011, accessed: 18 March 2011
- Apex commits to project development at Wiluna and Wilsons APEX ASX announcement, published: 23 June 2008, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Wiluna Update APEX ASX announcement, published: 22 December 2009, accessed: 21 January 2010
- LEG: Acquires producing WA Gold Mine Legend ASX announcement, published: 11 November 2003, accessed: 21 January 2010
- AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES LIMITED (ARS) delisted.com.au, accessed: 21 January 2010
- The Australian Mines Handbook: 2003-2004 Edition, page: 87, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Second Quarter Activities Report Abelle ASX announcement, published: 28 January 2003, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Harmony Gold Offer Unconditional & Closed Abelle ASX announcement, published: 1 May 2003, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Bluestone bet for tinny punters The Sydney Morning Herald, published: 5 August 2004, accessed: 21 January 2010
- The CRW (Crikey Revised Wealth) Rich List - Peter “Talky” Newton crikey.com.au, accessed: 20 January 2010
- ASX announcement, published: 2 July 2004, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Second Quarter Activities Report Abelle ASX announcement, published: 28 January 2004, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Legend annual report 2004 published: 1 April 2005, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Legend to sell Gidgee Gold Project to Apex Legend ASX announcement, published: 3 May 2007, accessed: 21 January 2010
- AXM: Apex unveils gold strategy with three WA acquisitions APEX ASX announcement, published: 3 May 2007, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Apex expands WA gold consolidation with Wiluna acquisition APEX ASX announcement, published: 20 June 2007, accessed: 21 January 2010
- Australian Securities Exchange - APEX accessed: 21 January 2010
- Apex raising at fallen share price The Sydney Morning Herald, published: 23 September 2009, accessed: 21 January 2010
- APEX annual report 2009 published: 23 October 2009, accessed: 21 January 2010
- June 2010 Quarterly Report APEX ASX announcement, published: 30 July 2010, accessed: 30 July 2010
- Kimberley nickel miner seeing gold ABC Rural, published: 28 February 2011, accessed: 18 March 2011
- MINEDEX website - Gidgee search result Archived September 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. accessed: 21 January 2010
- Abelle quarterly reports for calendar year 2003 and Legend fourth quarter report 2003.
- First Quarter Activities Report Legend ASX announcement, published: 29 April 2005, accessed: 21 January 2010