WOODLARK Island miner Geopacific Resources Limited has announced that new study results have confirmed the viability of a development of the historic this Woodlark Gold Project.

The company said a newly completed Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), builds on the March 2018 Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) and the November 2018 Woodlark Ore Reserve Update, in delivering strong economic and technical outcomes for a viable project.

The Woodlark DFS completed by Lycopodium Pty Ltd demonstrates a robust 13-year project with a compelling development option, both from a technical and financial perspective.

Geopacific managing director, Ron Heeks said the feasibility of the project is driven by low costs, a positive operating environment and a simple processing route.

“The Woodlark DFS has demonstrated a high margin, long life operation with an enviable exploration upside. The post-tax cashflow diagram says it all. Payback is fast, cash generation is high and exploration has the potential to provide significant organic growth,” Mr Heeks said.

“Woodlark is located in a proven mining investment jurisdiction and surrounded by numerous world class gold mines, including very similar, profitable gold operations on nearby islands.

“ The majority of these adjoining operations started life with similar mine life profiles and rapidly expanded once mining commenced. Regional exploration to date clearly demonstrates that Woodlark should follow a similar path, with every further ounce identified creating an even better project.

“The Geopacific team, in conjunction with top-tier consultants are to be commended for delivering a project that incorporates an optimal development plan after comprehensive studies and rigorous assessment of many operating scenarios and build options.

We look forward to unlocking the full potential of the project.”

The Woodlark DFS ascertained that the project could achieve all-in sustaining costs (AISC) as low as A$866/oz in the first five years, and A$1,033/oz over the life of mine, are possible due to wide, near surface ore zones. This allows for a very low waste : ore stripping ratio averaging 2.7:1 in the first two years driving maximum upfront cashflow.

A conventional Carbon in Leach (CIL) processing plant combined with free milling, fast leaching and soft ore provides for strong cash generation. These factors, coupled with a simple mining and processing route, de-risk the Project and provide a rapid payback period due to high margins generated.

Geopacific said Woodlark Island also presents an attractive operating environment with many logistical advantages and competitive operating costs, made possible by its flat topography and supportive local community.

With the majority of the future labour force living locally, the development of the project will provide a positive social benefit for the local community while maintaining competitive operational costs.

The construction of a dedicated wharf facility within close proximity to operations also provides substantial logistical advantages during the construction and operational phase.

The project also benefits from a short payback period generated by a strong, upfront post-tax cashflow of A$343 million. Resource growth and new discovery opportunities present a significant upside potential.