Black Cat’s Paulsens restart officially underway

Gold project developer Black Cat Syndicate (ASX:BC8) has officially begun refurbishing the processing plant at its Paulsens Gold Operation in Western Australia. 

The company spent much of 2023 carefully planning the restart of operations at Paulsens and in October locked in a $60 million funding package to support this work. This funding arrangement was reworked in late December.

Now, Black Cat says it is advancing the procurement of long-lead-time items for the Paulsens processing facility, including mill liners and lifters, two Knelson concentrators, and steel for tank and structural modifications. Each of these items has been ordered, and Black Cat has secured a new liquid oxygen tank. 

The $76.5 million market capitalisation company plans to begin mobilising a contracting crew and a 40-tonne crane to the Paulens site to swap out the old Knelson concentrators with the new, as well as continue stripping, rebuilding and replacing pumps throughout the processing facility. 

Black Cat Managing Director Gareth Solly says the company has been ‘systematically’ working through the processing plant as it conducts maintenance and refurbishment works. 

“Work to date has been extremely productive with significant upside identified, particularly in the crushing circuit. 

Long lead items have been or are in the process of being ordered. We are also starting to engage with mining contractors and equipment suppliers. Activities will progressively step up as our additional financing becomes available.” 

Prior to the new refurbishment work now completed or underway, Black Cat started up the primary jaw crusher, secondary and tertiary cone crushers, triple deck screen, and all associated conveyors at Paulsens to ensure they still ran properly. 

The company also tested the leach and carbon-in-leach tank agitator motors and gearboxes and found that only one motor and one gearbox needed replacing. Black Cat’s team plans to service and replace these motors and gearboxes before the end of March.  

Finally, Black Cat tested the ‘sump pumps’ within the gravity/leach area at Paulsens and found that all were operational. 

The Paulsens underground project is one of Australia’s highest-grade gold deposits, according to Black Cat, with a current resource of 406,000 tonnes @ 9.5 grams per tonne gold.

Black Cat’s November 2023 restart study for the Paulsens Operations highlighted planned production of 176,500 ounces of gold over the first 4.2 years with an all-in sustaining cost of $1,836 per ounce and operating cash flow of $110.6 million. 

Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au 

Images: Black Cat Syndicate
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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.