Calidus Resources: Receivers to put Warrawoona gold mine into care and maintenance

Matt Mckenzie
The Nightly
The Warrawoona gold project is being shut down.
The Warrawoona gold project is being shut down. Credit: Calidus Resources/TheWest

Receivers for Calidus Resources have been forced to shutter a troubled Pilbara gold mine while they hunt to find a buyer for the collapsed business.

The ASX-listed company hit the wall in late June amid a battle with financier Macquarie, with the bank putting Kordamentha’s John Bumbak and Richard Tucker in charge.

Markets were told on Wednesday that operations at the Warrawoona mine would cease within weeks and the site would be put on care and maintenance. Ore stockpiles will be processed over the next two weeks.

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It’s unclear as yet how many jobs will be lost.

Gold prices have been white hot, running at above $US2,400/oz ($3600) in May. But Calidus’s hedge book was bleeding cash, losing $4.2m in the March quarter.

The broader resources industry has been hit by closures this year — with Alcoa’s Kwinana alumina refinery and First Quantum Minerals’ Ravensthorpe nickel mine among the highest profile.

Kordamentha opened the door for potential buyers and investors to express interest in rescuing the miner.

Warrawoona was producing 60,000 to 70,000 ounces of the precious metal annually at a site near Marble Bar.

Macmahon had a $210 million mining deal running until 2026 at the site and the contractor also holds shares in Calidus. The value of its exposure totals about $40m, the business has told markets.

The contractor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Calidus joined the stock exchange in a 2017 backdoor listing using the shell of Pharmanet Group.

Shares hit as much as $1 each in 2022 when Warrawoona started producing gold, but have since dropped more than 90 per cent.


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