Red 5 Ltd says it has taken another key step towards the development of its King of the Hills (KOTH) project in Western Australia, after issuing a notice of award for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and the bulk earthworks for the process plant to MACA Interquip.
The EPC contract and bulk earthworks – which encompass the KOTH processing facility, equipping of the bore fields, high voltage power distribution, workshop, warehouse and bulk earthworks – will be undertaken as a fixed‐price contract, Red 5 said.
The KOTH feasibility study outlined a 16-year life of mine plan from open-pit and underground mining, whereby the company would produce 176,000 oz/y of gold over the first six years. The capital cost came in at A$226 million ($158 million) and life of mine all-in sustaining costs were A$1,415/oz.
MACA Interquip, a multi‐disciplined mineral processing provider, has a strong track record of the construction of similar carbon‐in‐leach processing plants to the 4 Mt/y process plant planned at KOTH, Red 5 explained.
Following execution of the EPC contract, commitments to‐date for the KOTH project will total A$143 million, compared with the capital budget of A$155 million for these items – which represent 82% of the total capital budget for processing infrastructure of A$188 million (excluding owners costs and contingency).
Commitments made to date include:
- Purchase of 240‐bed camp accommodation, water and waste water treatment plants and central facilities;
- Design and construction contract for a 450‐person village;
- 6 Mt/y gyratory crusher and 4 Mt/y SAG mill;
- Early works agreement with APA Group for the gas pipeline lateral; and
- EPC contract for the process facility and bulk earthworks.
Construction of the village commenced in October 2020 and is on track to be operational in February 2021. The process plant bulk earthworks (for which equipment will be mobilised) are scheduled to commence on December 1, 2020, pending the final remaining permit (currently on schedule).
The EPC contract provides for two phases. The first is limited to A$50 million and Phase 2 is for the remainder of the contract value, which will be released at the discretion of Red 5, based on the status of debt financing.
The notice of award provides for the immediate commencement of the design and procurement activities for the process plant as well as mobilisation of earthmoving equipment to site, Red 5 said. It, however, limits commitments to A$10 million and is an interim measure to allow the plant design and mobilisation for earthworks to commence immediately while the contract is executed.
Once executed, the value of these contracts, together with the purchase of the 6 Mt/y gyratory crusher and 4 Mt/y SAG mill (already awarded to MACA Interquip), is A$129 million.
The purchased long‐lead items of the crusher and mill are currently being transported, in preparation for the planned delivery to Australia late in the June quarter of 2021.
The company is currently calling tenders for both the open pit and underground mining contracts, the independent power producer contract and the supply of gas. These contracts are expected to be finalised in the coming months, it said.
Red 5 Managing Director, Mark Williams, said: “Our decision to award these key contracts and make commitments to significant long‐lead items prior to completing project debt funding reflects our confidence in the robustness of the King of the Hills project.
“Importantly, the commitments made to date are below budget for this stage of the KOTH project, and should give our stakeholders confidence that we are well on track to progress the development of this major project, with production planned to start in June quarter of 2022.”