Marvel Loch Gold Mine
|Company||St Barbara Limited|
|Website||St Barbara website|
|Year of acquisition||March 2005|
It is operated by St Barbara Limited. Apart from Marvel Loch, St Barbara also operates the Gwalia Gold Mine at Leonora and owns the Tarmoola Gold Mine, which is placed in care and maintenance.
All three mines were previously owned by the now defunct mining company Sons of Gwalia Limited. Sons of Gwalia went into administration on 30 August 2004 and the company's gold mining operations were sold to St Barbara in March 2005 for A$38 million, having been valued by the Sons of Gwalia directors at A$120 million. While Marvel Loch was operational before and after the sale, the Gwalia mine was already placed in care & maintenance at the time of the transaction. A fourth mine, the Carosue Dam Gold Mine, ceased operation in June 2005 and has since been sold by St Barbara.
Mining in the area around Marvel Loch dates back to the early 1900s and between 1905 and 1986, 136,300 ounces of gold were recorded as having been mined.
From 1979 to 1987, the mine was operated as a joint venture between Kia Ora Gold Corporation NL and Western United Limited, after which it was sold to Mawson Pacific Limited. Mawson Pacific subsequently sold the mine to Reynolds Australia Gold Operations Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds US Metals. During its period of ownership Reynolds acquired the Southern Cross Mill and adjacent tenements including the Transvaal Underground Mine and the Cornishman Open Pit (a 50/50 joint venture with Troy Resources NL)located approximately 25km north of Marvel Loch. On 1 April 2005 the Marvel Loch Mine together with the Southern Cross Mill and adjacent mines was sold to Sons of Gwalia for $23m. During 1995 and 1996 Sons of Gwalia acquired Orion Gold NL and Gasgoyne Gold Mines NL whom together owned the Yilgarn Star Joint Venture approximately 16km south of Marvel Loch. The Yilgarn Star Joint Venture operated the Yilgarn Star Open Pit and Underground mine and mill as well as the Nevoria Gold Mine.
Sons of Gwalia mined the Marvel Loch deposit as a surface mine for the most part of the mine's history since reopening in the 1990s, upgrading its production facility in 2001. In February 2001, the company announced it consolidated its Southern Cross operations, acquiring the remaining 30% of the Yilgarn Star Gold Mine it didn't own and merging the operation with Marvel Loch, closing the Yilgarn Star mill. It also acquired other interests in the region in this transaction. Since then, production from Yilgarn has been listed under Marvel Loch.
After a rapid rise of the company, unauthorised gold and foreign exchange trading activities by chief financial officer Eardley Ross-Adjie in the year to June 2000, ended up costing Sons of Gwalia more than A$190 million. Sons of Gwalia went into administration on 30 August 2004, following a financial collapse, with debts exceeding $800 million after suffering from falling gold reserves and hedging losses. Sons of Gwalia was Australia's third-largest gold producer and also controlled more than half the world's production of tantalum.
St Barbara purchased the mine from insolvent Sons of Gwalia in March 2005.
Since the purchase of the Mine by St Barbara, mining has been carried out both in surface and underground operations. In July 2009, St Barbara suspended open pit mining at Marvel Loch and decided that the treatment plant will be operated on a week-on, week-off basis.
Production of the mine (including Yilgarn Star since June 2001):
|Year||Production||Grade||Cost per ounce|
|2000||138,491 ounces||2.48 g/t||A$416|
|2001||176,026 ounces||2.89 g/t||A$419|
|2002||176,756 ounces||2.49 g/t||A$480|
|2005 1||53,719 ounces||2.94 g/t||A$336|
|2005-06||166,000 ounces||2.4 g/t||A$443|
|2006-07||171,182 ounces||2,6 g/t||A$508|
|2007-08||157,477 ounces||2.5 g/t||A$550|
|2008-09||156,105 ounces||2.5 g/t||A$888|
- 1 2005 results for 28 March to 30 June only.
|Year||Production||Grade||Cost per ounce|
|2000||103,122 ounces||4.43 g/t||A$384|
|2001 1 .||23,511 ounces||3.76 g/t||A$491|
- 2 January to June 2002 only.
- 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
- St Barbara website - Southern Cross accessed: 3 September 2009
- St Barbara website - Leonora accessed: 3 September 2009
- St Barbara website - Operations overview accessed: 3 September 2009
- The Australian Mines Handbook: 2003-2004 Edition, page 520
- Sons of Gwalia Limited at delisted.com.au accessed: 3 September 2009
- St Barbara Mines Limited - Lodgment of Open Briefing published: 28 June 2005, accessed: 3 September 2009
- The West Australian, published 16 March 2005, accessed: 3 September 2009
- The Australian Mines Handbook: 2003-2004 Edition, page 107
- Rationalisation of Southern Cross Region of WA SGW ASX announcement, published: 7 February 2001, accessed: 8 February 2010
- Media Release: Highlights from Quarterly Report 30-6-98 SGW ASX announcement, published: 17 July 1998, accessed: 8 February 2010
- The Australian Mines Handbook: 2003-2004 Edition, page 137
- How sons of Lalor built, then sank, Sons of Gwalia The Sydney Morning Herald, accessed: 4 September 2009
- Ernst &Young agrees to $125m Sons of Gwalia settlement The West Australian, published: 4 September 2009, accessed: 4 September 2009
- Sons of Gwalia's gold hedging had big holes The Sydney Morning Herald, published: 4 September 2004, accessed: 4 September 2009
- St Barbara Mines Limited - Lodgement of Open Briefing published: 28 June 2005, accessed: 3 September 2009
- St Barbara suspends WA gold mine Metalsplace.com, published: 10 July 2009, accessed: 3 September 2009
- Sons of Gwalia annual report 2003 accessed: 12 January 2010
- Sons of Gwalia fourth quarter report 2004 accessed: 12 January 2010
- 2005 Annual report accessed: 3 September 2009
- 2006 Annual report accessed: 3 September 2009
- 2007 Annual report accessed: 3 September 2009
- 2008 Annual report accessed: 3 September 2009
- June 2009 quarterly report accessed: 3 September 2009
- Place Names Search Results - Marvel Loch Geoscience Australia website
- St Barbara website - Southern Cross operations
- Video: Blasting at Marvel Loch
- MINEDEX website
- How sons of Lalor built, then sank, Sons of Gwalia The Sydney Morning Herald - Article on the collapse of Sons of Gwalia
- "Southern Cross Annual Environmental Report 2010–2011" (PDF). Retrieved 24 January 2013.