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Greatland Gold has responded to Newmont’s plans to divest its 70 per cent stake in the Havieron gold-copper project in Western Australia.

Greatland discovered the Havieron deposit in 2018, with the project being advanced under an unincorporated 30:70 joint venture originally signed by Greatland and Newcrest in November 2020.

Newmont inherited the 70 per cent stake in Havieron, as well as management of the project, when it acquired Newcrest last year.

Newmont then announced in February it will divest the 70 per cent stake it holds in the Havieron. Greatland has now said it is “strongly positioned” to consolidate the ownership of Havieron.

“Overall, we are confident there is currently significant option value in Greatland with Newmont’s 70 per cent interest in Havieron considered non-core and our existing last right of refusal on any sale,” Greatland managing director Shaun Day said.

“If an opportunity to consolidate ownership of Havieron were to arise we would be highly focused on delivering an accretive outcome for our existing shareholders with a view to delivering a world-class Australian gold-copper asset.”

Greatland Gold has also revealed substantial process made at Havieron during the March 2024 quarter.

As of December 31 2023, total development at Havieron exceeds 3060m, which includes over 2110m of advance in the main access decline. This represents about 80 per cent of vertical distance through to the top of the Havieron orebody.

The project has about 80 vertical metres of development left before the decline reaches the base of the Permian cover and top of the Havieron orebody at about 420 vertical metres.

Other construction activities carried out at the project during the quarter include the primary fan headwall assembly, rising main installation, repositioning of secondary fans from the box cut at surface to underground, raising of bore pre-sink pads and pre-excavation stabilisation, and fabrication of life-of-mine pumps and ladder ways.

“Significant progress has been made during the quarter, particularly in terms of improving our understanding and confidence in managing the lower confined aquifer,” Day said.

“Measured flow rates are at the low end of the range previously anticipated and water management infrastructure requirements have been confirmed. This significantly de-risks development through the aquifer.

“A better location has also been identified for the underground decline to develop through the remaining Permian layer where it is shallower, reducing the remaining development metres required through the Permian.”