Reverse circulation drilling has identified mineralisation at Red River Resources’ Cougartown and Cougartown West prospects, including an intercept of 86m grading at 2.3 per cent zinc equivalent from surface.

The prospects lie near its Liontown project, which is being developed as the third deposit to be mined at Red River’s Thalanga operations in North Queensland

Prospects near Liontown would potentially provide additional feed to the process plant at Thalanga, the company said.

Red River has completed 1928m of drilling on the Cougartown, Cougartown West and Max-Au satellite prospects.

Standout intercepts include:

Cougartown – 86m @ 2.3% Zn Eq from 0m (CGRC004), 43m @ 1.6% Zn Eq from 55m (CGRC001), 18m @ 1.6% Zn Eq from 101m and 16m @ 1.7% Zn Eq from 142m (CGRC003)
Cougartown West – 40m @ 3.0% Zn Eq from 67m (CWRC002)

The company said drilling was being planned for Max Cu-Au East and other satellite targets around Liontown.

Red River has selected to report results on a zinc equivalent basis, as zinc is the metal that contributes the most to the net smelter return zinc equivalent (Zn Eq.) calculation.

The net smelter return zinc equivalent calculation adjusts individual grades for all metals included, applying the following modifying factors: metallurgical recoveries, payability factors (concentrate treatment charges, refining charges, metal payment terms, net smelter return royalties and logistic costs) and metal prices in generating a zinc equivalent value for copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver.

In December last year Red River Resources reported intercepts of greater than 20 per cent zinc equivalent in drilling at Liontown.

Mining at Liontown is expected to begin in 2022 and will involve an open pit/underground development with a conceptual mine life of more than 10 years.

The project is located about 32km in a direct line from the main Thalanga operations, about 65km south-west of Charters Towers, where Red River restarted mining and processing operations in 2017.



Stanmore Resources has awarded a $564 million contract to EPSA Pacific for open-cut mining services at its new Isaac Downs coal mine near Moranbah.

The company described awarding the five-year contract as major milestone in moving to full production at the Isaac Downs mine.

Mining activities under the contract are set to commence early next quarter.

The State Government granted the mining leases for the $82 million Isaac Downs coal project in July last year, marking completion of all regulatory approvals for the site’s development.

The new open-cut operations will act as an extension for the Isaac Plains Complex, supporting the ongoing employment of 200 to 300 people in operations and contracted roles.

It is expected to produce up to 2.5Mtpa of saleable coking coal, with a mine life of up to 10 years, and will provide a new source of coal to feed the Isaac Plains CHPP.

EPSA will become the statutory coal mining operator for the Isaac Plains complex, and Stanmore will transition to an owner-operator model for the coal handling and preparation plant.

“Stanmore acknowledges and thanks Golding, the current CMO under the existing mining services agreement, for their services and successful partnership over the duration of that mining services agreement,” the company stated in an announcement to the ASX today.

It said a transition plan would be implemented to ensure business continuity and the minimisation of any disruption, including a workforce consultation process focussed on the potential retention of experienced operators.

Stanmore said its new mining services agreemnet with EPSA would provide operational flexibility allowing Stanmore to capture additional value while navigating market conditions.

EPSA brought brand new equipment to the table as well as a highly experienced management team and state of the art operations and maintenance control systems, it said.



Cairns-based NORSTA Maritime has won a $70 million contract to provide maintenance services for the Royal Australian Navy.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the contract would offer long-term employment opportunities for the region.  

“As more naval ships are maintained here in Cairns, more Defence and industry personnel will be required, which will further support long-term local jobs and diversify our economy,” Mr Entsch said.

The Defence contract win will see NORSTA deliver the Cairns Regional Maintenance Centre – otherwise known as RMC North East.

Federal Defence Minister Peter Dutton has also announced a one-year contract extension with BAE Systems Australia for the in-service support arrangements of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of hydrographic platforms, based in Cairns.

“The extension of the current support arrangements at a value of $14.3 million provides certainty for Defence industry and will support sixty local jobs in Cairns,” he said.

“This contract extension recognises the outstanding partnership between Defence, BAE Systems Australia as we continue to the support the important work delivered by defence industry in North Queensland.”  

BAE has built a skilled local workforce of more than 120 people since its first maritime program in Cairns in 2000.

“This contract extension reflects our continued focus to look for more innovative ways to support the fleet and increase our competitiveness,“ BAE Systems Maritime Australia managing director Craig Lockhart said.

“The Hydrographic In Service Support Contract demonstrates an important industrial capability which has been built up over many years in Cairns to meet the needs of the Royal Australian Navy.”

Local business engagement push in NORSTA contract

The RMC North East is the first of four maintenance centres to be developed at strategic ports around the country — in Cairns, Henderson (WA), Darwin and Sydney.

It is scheduled to be operating by the end of this year and will initially support the evolved Cape class patrol boats.

Mr Dutton said the five-year NORSTA contract contained incentives to ensure local and regional small and medium businesses were given a fair opportunity to compete for work. 

“This model will build Australian Industry Capability, with local industry set to benefit from reduced barriers to entry and administrative overheads, as well as greater certainty and predictability so that they can better plan and invest,” he said.

“As the Regional Maintenance Provider in Cairns, NORSTA Maritime will be a vital part of the integrated workforce, performing management services, coordinating and scheduling maintenance and developing and stewarding sovereign sustainment capability.”

NORSTA Maritime is described as an Australian sovereign entity underwritten by Norship and Tropical Reef Shipyard, with Nova Systems and Secora Australasia as partners.




Hall Contracting’s 65m-long backhoe dredge Woomera is in Townsville to begin work on the city’s $232 million Channel Upgrade project.

Woomera, the largest Australian-owned backhoe dredge, has travelled 700 nautical miles from her home base in Brisbane.

It is expected to begin dredging operations this month to widen the city’s 14.9km shipping channel so that vessels up to 300m can safely access the port and no longer bypass Townsville.

Dredging is expected to take two years, with the project set for completion in late 2023.

The shipping channel will be widened from 92m to 180m at the port end, and taper to 120m at the seaward end.

Hall Contracting was also involved in civil works for the channel upgrade including the construction of a rock wall and revetments, creating a 60ha reclamation area to receive material dredged from the channel.

The channel upgrade project is the largest infrastructure project in the Townsville Port’s history and is the first stage of the 30-year Port Expansion Project.

The Townsville Port Channel Upgrade is a joint project of the Australian and Queensland governments, and Port of Townsville Limited, and forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.

Port of Townsville shared this footage on social media of the Woomera arriving: CLICK HERE


GBM Resources plans an ‘aggressive’ drill campaign after completing its acquisition of the Twin Hills gold tenements from Minjar Gold.

The deal means the company holds gold resources totalling about 1.5 million oz in the Drummond Basin, including its Yandan and Mount Coolon assets.

“Completion of this transformational transaction represents a significant step in the execution of our ‘processing halo’ strategy to build over two million ounces under ownership within the Drummond Basin, providing the potential for transition to a genuine mid-tier Australian gold company,” GBM managing director and chief executive officer Peter Rohner said.

“We look forward to now commencing an aggressive initial extensional and infill drilling program at Twin Hills along with progressing our exciting Yandan and Mt Coolon projects.”

The Twin Hills ground came at a price of about $2 million cash, along with GBM assuming the financial assurance in respect of the environmental authorities for the tenements (currently for an amount of about $1.48 million).

Based around the 309 and Lone Sister deposits, Twin Hills has a mineral resource estimate of 6.9 million tonnes at 2.8g/t gold for 633,000 ounces of contained gold on granted mining leases.

GBM described Twin Hills as highly prospective for the discovery of additional mineralisation, with analysis suggesting high grade gold shoots at 309 and Lone Sister may be open at depth.

GBM will out to test these targets at Twin Hills in early 2022, along with re-estimation of the mineral resource.



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