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The Challenger-Mt McClure open pit gold mine near Leinster, in Western Australia, has been placed on care and maintenance by administrator, Pitcher Partners, as a result the mine owner, Navigator Resources Limited, going into administration in late March 2013. It is believed the reason for the collapse of Navigator Resources Limited was the low grades of gold bearing ore being mined that was compounded by the high cost of fly-in fly-out mining personnel. About 200 mining staff lost their jobs at the
Bronzewing Gold Project of which the Challenger-Mt McClure mine was a part of.

Navigator Resources Purchased the Challenger-Mt McClure Mine in 2009

Navigator Resources Limited purchased the Bronzewing Gold Project, that includes the Challenger-Mt McClure open pit, in 2009. It poured its first gold from the new acquisition in April 2010 and by the end if the 2009/10 financial year had produced 11,409 ounces of gold. This result, all in the last quarter if the year, gave the company confidence to predict it would produce 101,000 ounces of gold in 2010/11. However, the project underperformed and only 75,000 ounces was realised. The next financial year, 2011/12, was no better.

The Bronzewing Mining Project has a Chequered History

The Bronzewing Gold Project, has experienced a chequered history since the gold deposit was first discovered there by Mark Creasy who is recorded in the Guinness book of records as being the prospector who obtained the worlds biggest payout for his find. He was paid a reported $173 million for the find in 1991 by Great Central Mines.

Rabbi Purchases the Project in 1999

Great Central Mines was headed by a Rabbi, Joseph Gutnick, and in 1999 it is reported the mine had produced its 1,000,000th ounce of gold. Great Central Mines eventually sold the operation to Normandy Mining later in 1999. Greater Central Mines had purchased the nearby Mt McClure Mine and had it included in the Bronzewing sale package to Normandy Mining. Normandy Mining was, in turn, taken over by Newmont Mining Corporation in early 2002. By 2004 the project had produced more than three million ounces of gold from a total three underground and 11 open cut mines.

Newmont Sell Bronzewing Project to Ill-fated View Resources

View Resources purchased the Bronzewing Project from Newmont in 2004, by now the Mt McClure mine was an accepted part of the Bronzewing Project. The project was placed on care and maintenance and it stayed that way until mid 2007. Trouble struck in February, 2008, when it was announced the project was only producing 6,500 ounces of gold a month, well down from the expected 10,000 target. This was blamed on a grade shortfall and as a result all underground mining was immediately suspended. Not long after View Resources Limited went into administration and all mining once again ceased on the Bronzewing Project.

Navigator Resources Limited Collapses

Navigator Resources purchased the Bronzewing Project that included the Challenger-Mt McClure open pit mine in 2008 and returned to mine to full production once again. However, production was only to survive another four years with the whole project finally closed by administrators in early 2013.

Navigator Resource

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Navigator Resource
45 Richardson Street
West Perth, WA 6005

PO Box 276
West Perth, WA 6872


Phone08 9226 5311
fax08 9226 5411

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