Thunderbox Gold Mine

Last updated
Thunderbox
Location
Australia location map.svg
Schlaegel und Eisen nach DIN 21800.svg
Thunderbox Gold Mine
Location in Australia
Location Leinster
State Western Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates 28°18′S121°00′E / 28.300°S 121.000°E / -28.300; 121.000 Coordinates: 28°18′S121°00′E / 28.300°S 121.000°E / -28.300; 121.000
Production
Productioninactive
Financial year2008–09
History
Opened2002
Closed2007
Owner
Company Norilsk Nickel
Website Norilsk website
Year of acquisition2007

The Thunderbox Gold Mine is a gold mine 41 km south-east of Leinster, Western Australia. It is currently owned by Norilsk Nickel and has been in care and maintenance since 2007.

Leinster, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Leinster is a town in the northern goldfields area of Western Australia. It is 4 km east of the Goldfields Highway, in the Shire of Leonora local government area, 968 kilometres (601 mi) northeast of the state capital, Perth. At the 2006 census, Leinster had a population of 732.

Western Australia state in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

Care and maintenance is a term used in the mining industry to describe processes and conditions on a closed minesite where there is potential to recommence operations at a later date. During a care and maintenance phase, production is stopped but the site is managed to ensure it remains in a safe and stable condition.

Contents

Norilsk acquired the mine in June 2007, when it took over Lionore Mining. [1] [2]

History

The Thunderbox gold deposit is a relatively recent discovery by Western Australian gold mining standards, having been located through drilling in mid-1999. The deposit was jointly owned by Lionore (60%) and Dalrymple Resources (40%). [3]

The owners conducted a feasibility study in 2001 and predicted a mine life of five years and a gold resource of 850,000 ounces, to be mined in an open-pit operation. The company moved the processing plant from Mount Todd to the mine and first gold production was achieved at the end of 2002. [3]

In mid-2003, Lionore and Dalrymple announced a merger of the two companies, with the new entity continuing to be called Lionore. [4]

After good results in the mine's first two years of operation, [5] Thunderbox suffered a difficult 2005, with lower-than-expected production in the second half of the year. Water shortages and equipment reliability issues were two of the main reasons for the decline in production, but write-downs because of its short remaining mine life led to large financial losses for the Thunderbox operation. Lionore at this stage was contemplating selling the mine. [6]

Gold mines in the Mid West region Gold mines Meekathara Leinster.jpg
Gold mines in the Mid West region

In April 2007, it was once more reported that the mine was for sale. [7]

Lionore Mining was taken over by Russian company Norilsk in June 2007, [2] after a bidding war between Norilsk and Xstrata saw the former succeeding with the higher offer. Xstrata had originally offered C$18.50 for every Lionore share, countered by a Norilsk offer of C$21.50 per share. Xstrata raised their offer to C$25, which forced Norilsk to present a final offer of C$27.50. [8]

Shortly after the takeover, Norilsk announced that it would not continue mining at Thunderbox, instead preferring to concentrate on the company's nickel projects. [9] [10] The mine eventually closed in November 2007. [11]

After the closure of the mine, Norilsk used the camp at Thunderbox for accommodation for its workers at the nearby Waterloo Nickel Mine, until the later was placed into care and maintenance, too. [12]

The board of Saracen Mineral Holdings approved a project to develop the Thunderbox deposit in Q3 FY2015, with prestrip mining commencing in 2015. [13] First gold was poured in February 2016. [14]

Production

Production figures of the mine:

YearGold
production
GradeCost per ounce
2002 [15] 17,790 ounces2.38 g/tUS$ 95
2003 [16] 212,459 ouncesUS$ 138
2004 [17] 156,916 ouncesUS$ 265
2005 [6] 145,413 ouncesUS$ 339
2006 [18] 155,203 ouncesUS$ 352
2007 [19] 39,345 ounces 1US$ 518

See also

Sources

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References

  1. MINEDEX website Archived 2008-09-11 at the Wayback Machine . Thunderbox Gold search result, accessed: 29 January 2010
  2. 1 2 LIONORE MINING INTERNATIONAL LIMITED (LIM) delisted.com.au, accessed: 29 January 2010
  3. 1 2 The Australian Mines Handbook: 2003-2004 Edition, page: 129, accessed: 29 January 2010
  4. News Release: LionOre & Dalrymple announce merger Lionore ASX announcement, published: 5 August 2003, accessed: 29 January 2010
  5. Goldminer beats the profit odds The Age , published: 5 March 2004, accessed: 29 January 2010
  6. 1 2 Fourth Quarter Results December 2005 Lionore ASX announcement, published: 7 March 2006, accessed: 29 January 2010
  7. St Barbara offloads Tarmoola goldmine The Sydney Morning Herald , published: 14 April 2007, accessed: 29 January 2010
  8. Material Change Report Lionore ASX announcement, published: 29 May 2007, accessed: 29 January 2010
  9. Norilsk moves to focus on nickel The Australian , published: 8 September 2007, accessed: 29 January 2010
  10. Norilsk outlines plans for WA assets The Sydney Morning Herald , published: 7 September 2007, accessed: 29 January 2010
  11. China may pass SA as world's leading gold producer this year, Australia No. 3 mineweb.com, author: Ross Louthean, published: 3 December 2007, accessed: 29 January 2010
  12. Norilsk Nickel Australia Norilsk website, accessed: 29 January 2010
  13. https://www.saracen.com.au/operations/thunderbox/thunderbox/
  14. https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/saracen-pours-the-first-gold-at-thunderbox/news-story/25d267b41271d9c6013516a2a883c332
  15. Annual Report 2002 Lionore ASX announcement, published: 5 August 2003, accessed: 29 January 2010
  16. Fourth Quarter Results December 2003 Lionore ASX announcement, published: 4 March 2004, accessed: 29 January 2010
  17. Fourth Quarter Results December 2004 Lionore ASX announcement, published: 16 March 2005, accessed: 29 January 2010
  18. Fourth Quarter Results December 2006 Lionore ASX announcement, published: 27 February 2006, accessed: 29 January 2010
  19. First Quarter Results March 2007 Lionore ASX announcement, published: 15 May 2007, accessed: 30 January 2010