Tolu awards PNG engineering firm road construction contract

Newly listed Tolu Minerals (ASX:TOK) has awarded a ‘transformational’ contract to Papua New Guinean (PNG) civil engineering group Tunnel Engineering to construct a road from Bakoiudu to its Tolukuma Gold Mine. 

Tolu, which has a $59.98 million market capitalisation, says mobilisation and site establishment is underway with road construction scheduled to begin in the first week of December this year. 

The road will enable it to advance the exploration of the project and will replace the historical exclusive reliance on helicopter-borne freight and personnel movement. 

Tolu believes this move will drive ‘significant’ operating cost reductions. 

The company notes the road will follow the route of an existing horse and cart trial built by missionaries branching off the Tapini Highway at Bakoiudu. It will then route through a number of villages to Tolukuma, as highlighted in the Mineral Resources Authority of Papua New Guinea’s 2016 feasibility study. 

Tolu Minerals Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Iain Macpherson says employing Tunnel Engineering represents a ‘significant’ step towards technically and commercially de-risking Tolukuma. 

Construction of the road follows the identification of new exploration gold targets near Tolukuma, as reported earlier this month.

Tolu noted these discoveries extended gold and silver mineralisation at surface from 750m in strike length to over 1,300m in strike length, demonstrating the potential to develop ‘significant’ near-mine gold targets. 

Tolu Minerals floated on the ASX on 9 November this year after raising close to $17.35 million in an initial public offering (IPO) that issued under 35 million shares at an issue price of $0.50 per share. 

The company’s Tolukuma gold mine represents Tolu’s ‘engine of the business’ and sits in the Goilala district of the Central Province of Papua New Guinea, about 100km north of the capital city of Port Moresby.

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Images: Tolu Minerals
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.