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Northern Star seeks to expand the already massive “Super Pit” 

Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST), the owner of Western Australia’s biggest open-pit gold mine, the Super Pit, is seeking approval for a significant expansion to the already massive operation.

The project would add seven years to the Super Pit productive life, keeping it open until 2034. The mine, formally named Fimiston Open pit, is one of the four assets that make up Northern Star’s Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) operations, about 600 km east of Perth.

The proposed expansion includes widening and deepening the current pit, as well as scaling up the Fimiston II tailings storage facility and building a new TSF (Fimiston III). 

It also involves clearing of up to 1868 hectares (ha) of which 1580 ha is native vegetation, the application to Western Australia’s environmental authority shows.

In total, Northern Star expects to increase the area of the development to 7,795 hectares, up from the currently approved 5,914 hectares, it said. 

There’s long been speculation about the fate of the Super Pit, but a few months after acquiring the asset in 2020, Northern Star provided a clear signal that was committed to continue mining until the mid-2030s.

The company, the top publicly traded gold producer in Australia, allocated last year A$1.5 billion ($982 million) to more than double processing capacity to about 27 million tonnes of ore per year by 2029 at its Kalgoorlie operations.

Soaring gold prices have sparked significant activity in the Australian bullion sector. Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN) in December agreed to buy an 80% stake in the Northparkes copper-gold mine in New South Wales from Chinese miner CMOC Group. That followed the high profile acquisition of Newcrest by gold giant Newmont (NYSE: NEM) for more than $15 billion.

Last month, Red 5 (ASX: RED) moved on Silver Lake Resources (ASX: SLR) to build a mid-tier gold producer valued at $1.5 billion. 

Source: MINING.COM – Read More