Emerging producer Horizon Minerals eyes mid-tier

Successful acquisitive miner Horizon Minerals is stepping up a gear and aiming for mid-tier status as it nears production at two projects in Western Australia.

 Trial mining at Boorara has helped set up Horizon Minerals to develop its gold assets in Western Australia

Trial mining at Boorara has helped set up Horizon Minerals to develop its gold assets in Western Australia

At its flagship Boorara project 15km from Kalgoorlie, it's working on a consolidated feasibility study and aiming for full-scale production in 2022.

The study is looking at an initial five to seven-year mine life based on a new standalone mill and supplemented by higher-grade feed from five satellite deposits, including the underground resource grading 5.2g/t at the nearby Cannon gold project Horizon acquired in May.

The well-funded company was on the cusp of delivering an initial reserve for Boorara at the time of going to press, after announcing a 34% increase in grade in an April resource update.

The Boorara deposit currently holds about half of the project's plus-1 million ounce resource, with the remainder split between the Teal, Kalpini, Rosehill, Binduli and Cannon deposits, all within a 75km radius.

Horizon has de-risked its development plans thanks to a successful trial mining campaign at Boorara that wrapped up in recent months, toll milling 6,570oz and generating about A$3.6 million in net cash.

"We made a bit of money but more importantly, we learned a lot about the ore body," MD Jon Price said.

"The metallurgical recovery was a lot better than expected [at 94.5%].

"We fully understand the geology so for us, it's now given us the confidence to go ahead with the reserve.

"Very few companies have the chance to ‘try before you buy', so to speak, or try before you develop."

Price put that possibility down to Boorara's unique location, on the doorstep of the gold mining hub of Kalgoorlie and adjacent to Northern Star Resources' Super Pit.

Horizon was working to deliver four resources then six reserves, culminating in the consolidated feasibility study before year-end.

"The mill site at Boorara has got power, water, and the approvals are well advanced, so we're really excited to be moving through to that development decision and construction decision on the back of that five to seven-year initial profile," Price said.

Boorara's development is set to be boosted by cash flow from Horizon's recently-acquired stake in the high-grade Penny's Find gold project, where a development decision is expected in the September quarter.

Penny's Find, 50km from Kalgoorlie, is a 50% joint venture with Orminex and has a current resource of 56,000oz grading 7g/t.

"It's essentially an immediate production opportunity," Price said.

"It's a walk-up underground development, the approvals are in place and a milling agreement is in place for first ore treatment in the March quarter.

"We see significant opportunity to be mining and generating cash while we're actually in construction [at Boorara], and I don't believe there are too many companies out there that can say that they're developing mines and constructing a mill, and are in production, at the same time.

"It comes down to the jurisdiction, and the location in and around Kalgoorlie that we can do that."

It also points to the wealth of Goldfields experience shared between the company's leadership team.

"We've all raised our families and built our careers out in the Goldfields," Price noted.

He was previously general manager of the St Ives and Paddington gold mines in the region, and founding MD of Phoenix Gold, which was acquired by Evolution Mining in 2015 for $74.3 million.

Horizon meanwhile has built up its landholding in the prolific gold mining region and is keeping an eye out for further opportunities. 


Horizon Minerals' current projects around Kalgoorlie in WA

"We've been able to accumulate over 1, of tenure now, and that's probably one of the largest strategic land holdings, outside of the majors in the region," Price said.

"We'll continue to do so - we're looking for development-ready assets at asset level.

"We're also looking at more corporate consolidation opportunities as well.

"I think we all should be continuing to bring companies together where one plus one equals more than three and there are opportunities out there that can grow shareholder value through consolidation at corporate level."

Horizon formed two years ago through the merger of Intermin Resources and MacPhersons Resources.

With more than $17 million in hand and reserve drilling completed, Horizon has now turned its attention to exploration as part of its 55,000m 2021 drilling campaign.

"It's taken a while to get around to this new discovery drilling but our exploration team are first rate and I think it's going to be a fantastic next six to nine months," Price said.

"Not only are we building our production plan and our feasibility study, but we've got up to four rigs on the property, we're fully funded and there's going to be a lot of news flow.

"We're looking for the next big plus-1Moz orebody and we've got some fantastic ground in a world-class, gold-producing region to be looking."

Recent drilling results include 1m at 18.91g/t gold within 5m at 5.22g/t from 94m, at Binduli's newly-discovered Kestrel prospect, 12km west of Kalgoorlie.

Meanwhile in the background, Horizon has circa $5.5 million in investments Price said it would look to monetise as part of financing for Boorara's new plant.

It offered exposure to multiple commodities through its non-core assets, namely the Nimbus silver-zinc project in WA and a 25% stake in the world-class 1.8 billion tonne Julia Creek oxide vanadium project in Queensland.


Horizon Minerals MD Jon Price

"What shareholders and potential shareholders can look at, is us growing our gold business, while also having exposure to multiple commodities in joint venture and our exciting 20Moz silver-zinc project, which ultimately with the silver price climbing and the zinc price climbing has real value.

"It's not necessarily known that we own it, and certainly not valued in the stock at all."

Looking ahead, Price anticipates a very busy period as the proven miner advances its mid-tier aspirations.

"There's a massive amount of news flow coming as we move from a smaller explorer and acquirer to an emerging mid-tier gold business, getting into full scale development and full-scale production," he said.

"The next six to 12 months is going to be a watershed period for us."

Horizon Minerals

HEAD OFFICE: 163 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands WA 6009

Telephone: +61 8 9386 9534




DIRECTORS: Ashok Parekh, Peter Bilbe, Jon Price


MARKET CAP (at June 25, 2021): A$68 million

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS: Board 6%; Top 20 (excl Board) 39%

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