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The Navajo Chief open pit gold mine, located 10 kilometres from Kalgoorlie, in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, is owned and operated by Norton Goldfields Limited, a major Australian mining company that was acquired by the large Chinese gold producer, Zijin Mining Group in August 2012. The purchase of the majority of Norton Gold Fields Limited shares gives Zijin Mining a secure hold in the Australian gold market. The second largest in the world behind China itself.

Navajo Chief Gold Mine is Part of the Paddington Operations at Kalgoorlie

The Navajo Chief open pit gold mine is a part of the Paddington mining tenement which covers an area of 678 square kilometres that has the Paddington Gold Processing Mill, 35 kilometres north west of Kalgoorlie, as its centrepiece. The gold deposit being mined at the Navajo Chief Mine is on unallocated crown land that also includes other open cut pits, Navajo South, Navajo West and Navajo North that were previously operated in 1999 by Croesus Mining.

Navajo Chief Pre-stripping Began in 2010

Pre stripping of overburden at the Navajo Chief Mine began in March 2010 and four months later, in July, mining of the ore body began. An underpass was built beneath the east-west railway in February 2011 that facilitated ore from the Navajo Chief Mine being taken to the Paddington Mill for processing on the company's own haulage roads, therefore avoiding trucks having to travel along Kalgoorlie streets. It also reduced the distance from the mine to the mill by eight kilometres.

The Paddington Gold Processing Mill

Since Norton Gold Fields acquired the Paddington gold complex in 2007 from Barrick Gold, it has kept the Paddington Mill fully utilised, a lasting testament to the skills of the company's maintenance, processing and metallurgical teams. The financial year of 2011/12 saw a record amount of ore pass through the mill. A total of 3.7 million tonnes was processed compared to 3.5 million tonnes the year before, gold retrieved amounted to 150,695 ounces.

The mill is constructed to process the ore in the conventional fashion by utilising CIP (carbon-in-pulp) technology. This is a low cost yet efficient method that comprises a cone crusher, SAG mill grinding circuit and ball, gravity recovery and leaching with cyanide. Gold is removed from slurry form in the leaching circuit by means of activated carbon which is pumped into an elution column that has the job of washing the gold into solution. This solution containing gold is put through a number of electro winning cells that forces the gold onto cathodes of stainless steel. These cathodes are then rinsed to create gold sludge which is dried before being smelted into gold dore bullion bars. These gold bars, which contain around 80 percent gold at this stage, are sent to the mint at Perth for further refining into pure gold.

Norton Gold Fields Limited derived its name from the Norton Gold Mine near Gladstone in Queensland which was the company's first gold mine. It has since grown to become one of Australia's largest gold producers and now one of the world's leading gold mining companies after being taken up by the Zijin Mining Group. It has a current workforce in excess of 350 people.

Norton Gold Fields

Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005 and operates the Norton Gold mine in Gladstone, Qld. In 2007 the company acquired the Paddington Gold mine near Kalgoorlie in WA from Barrick Gold.Backed by its major shareholder, Chinese company Zijin Mining Group Co (89%) the company has focused more


Norton Gold Fields
Level 36, 2 The Esplanade
West Perth, WA 6005

PO Box 5762 St Georges Tce
Perth, WA 6831


Phone08 9263 9700
fax08 9263 9777

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