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Ark Mines mulls construction of gold processing plant in Northern Territory

Ark Mines Ltd. secured a six-month exclusive option to acquire mining leases 30214, 30215, 30216, 30217 and 30218, known as the Union Extended project, in Australia's Northern Territory.

The company believes that the location is suitable to build and operate a relocatable processing plant with a capacity of about 450,000 tonnes per annum to support mining the company's Mount Porter, Glencoe and Francis Creek projects.

The processing plant is expected to provide higher recovery at lower cost than a conventional carbon-in-leach plant, and will be made available to process third party ore on commercial terms.

The Union Extended project also has potential for gold mining, according to the Aug. 14 release.

Ark Mines noted that it intends to toll treat its gold ore at the Union Reef mill and plans to secure another toll treat agreement with Northern Territory Mining Operations Pty. Ltd.; however, it is conditional on receiving reasonable returns.

The company added that it considers construction of the Union Extended mill to be a cost-effective alternative to toll treating at Union Reef, subject to ongoing due diligence.

In late-July, Ark Mines decided to postpone plans for mining at its Mount Porter gold project in Northern Territory, as it failed to extend a toll treatment agreement with Northern Territory Mining Operations.