FED is a privately held gold mining company that is developing the historic Blackwater mine in New Zealand.
FED is a company registered in Australia with a Board of Jim Askew as Chairman, Mark Le Messurier as Managing Director, Bob Vassie as Independent Director, and two Australian Super directors Luke Smith and Romina Gaudion. Australian Super purchased 49% of Federation Mining in 2020 by transferring $37m of shares held by them into Federation Mining.
In September 2020 funding arrangements for the project in NZ were finalised with Australian Super and the New Zealand Provincial Growth Fund, in the form of a $50m Convertible Note from Australian Super and a $15m loan from PGF.
With completion of funding FED commenced development of the Snowy River Mine, near Reefton in the West Coast region of the south island in New Zealand. The project, formerly known as Blackwater, is owned by OceanaGold and FED has an exclusive Deed in place to purchase the asset upon completion of a decline and resource drilling. The decline will be completed in Q1 2023 and FED will make a decision to mine by the end of 2023 following drilling, modelling, and technical and economic analysis.
The Blackwater mine produced 700,000 ounces and operated between 1908 to 1951. The in-situ grade was 23 g/t. The gold was held in a 1km long and narrow quartz vein called the Birthday Reef and was accessed by two shafts with a maximum depth of 750m. OceanaGold acquired the asset and completed a deep drill hole program to determine if the lode extended at depth below the historic workings. With this information OceanaGold completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment and a JORC compliant resource of 700,000 ounces at 23 g/t was calculated. The company chose not to develop the asset due to other priorities and instead signed a Project Deed with Federation Mining.
With funding secured surface works commenced in September 2020 and by January 2021 development of a twin 3.3km decline had commenced. By December 2021 over 2,600 metres of decline were completed, with 8,000 metres required to reach the base of the old workings and establish a drill drive for resource drilling.
FED directly employs 46 people at the project in NZ and purchased a modern mobile mining fleet to complete the works.
In 2018 OceanaGold and FED submitted an application for a Mining Permit which was granted at the end of 2018. There are Resource Consents with the local and regional councils in place that allow for the decline development and drilling, with an additional consent to be submitted for the operation of a processing plant on site. The plan is to build a 300,000 tonne a year conventional gold plant that will produce 65-70,000 ounces a year from the end of 2024.
FED does and will operate a sustainable operation. The site is on private land with the mine under Department of Conservation land. The footprint is relatively small and designed to minimise disturbance and impact, with water management a priority. The land will be managed so that the farming can resume at end of the mine life. The operation utilises hydro power and will operate electric equipment when in operation.
FED will grow beyond our existing asset. Opportunities for growth are continually evaluated with the acquisition for an operating or late development asset a priority for the business. North America, Australia, and New Zealand are the preferred jurisdictions.