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Geopacific Resources is hoping to update the operating and capital cost estimate for its Woodlark gold project, in Papua New Guinea, during 2023.

The company in May last year suspended all detailed engineering and civil works after warning of a material increase in the capital cost for the project, and outlined a business transformation plan focused on re-evaluating the future pathways for the project.

Following that, Geopacific completed 23 km of resource infill, extension and exploration drilling, updated the project’s mineral resource estimate, and conducted a strategic review after receiving a number of unsolicited approaches, which has resulted in the identification of potential development partners.

Geopacific told shareholders on Tuesday that the company is now assessing the potential to optimise Woodlark through relocating the processing plant and associated project infrastructure, as well as the potential for staged development with an initial focus on the high-grade core of the mineral resource.

The company will update the openpit design and production schedules for the project, and will undertake a prefeasibility level study to incorporate all of these changes, subject to the availability of funding.

In the meantime, Geopacific will also continue its hunt for a new CEO, after Tim Richards announced his resignation from the role in December last year. Nonexecutive director Richard Clayton will act as interim CEO until an appointment can be made.