December 2023 Quarterly Report




Quarter highlights

Operating performance at the Plutonic gold mine improved against September quarter reflecting the expected operational stabilisation
Plutonic updated Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve released1; estimate provides comfort over Catalyst’s forward mine plan

ORE: 5.2Mt at 2.9g/t Au for 490,000oz
MRE: 17.9Mt at 2.9g/t Au for 1,654,000oz

Updated Mineral Resource Estimate released for the Trident deposit of 4.2Mt at 3.7g/t Au for 508,000oz; estimate will form the basis of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS)

1 Refer to ASX announcement on 8th December 2023, “Plutonic and Trident Reserves and Resources – Updated”


Gold sold for the quarter totalled 26,336oz at an average AISC of A$2,861, comprising:

Plutonic: 21,030oz gold sold at an AISC of A$2,713/oz
Henty: 5,306oz gold sold at an AISC of A$3,447/oz

Sustaining capital including tailings lifts at both sites and ongoing investments in equipment impacted AISC for both Henty and Plutonic

Discovery and Growth

Diamond drilling program completed at Trident, focussed on obtaining geotechnical and hydrogeological data to support a definitive feasibility study (DFS)
Release of the DFS will be dependent on collating and finalising these and other engineering results post the Christmas break
Plutonic belt development pipeline studies advancing:

Regional soil sampling program completed across the Plutonic Gold Belt; results will inform future exploration programs
Collating and processing of historical data relating to nearer term development opportunities

Financial and Corporate

As at 31 December 2023, available funds were A$15.4 million
The Company held loan facilities of $30.5 million and equipment related loans of $12.6 million at the same date

PERTH, Australia, Feb. 5, 2024 /CNW/ –


The December quarter reflects the continuation of the new operating model and the operating discipline that has been introduced by the Company.

The December quarter represented the second quarter of ownership of the Plutonic gold mine under Catalyst. The September quarter was a period of change for Plutonic with new management focussed on identifying and implementing operational improvements. During the December quarter, management focussed on stabilising production. Operational metrics at Plutonic improved in the December quarter and are a positive reflection of these efforts. With operations now more stable, management will be able to have a greater focus on costs. Newly purchased equipment and one-off costs incurred in the September and December quarters should assist with a lower cost profile going forward.

Performance at the Henty Gold Mine in Tasmania improved compared to the September quarter results. A focus by management on stope performance resulted in improved grade and increased gold production during the quarter. Sustaining capital at Henty for the quarter included commencement on the tailings dam lift and continuation of the equipment replacement program.

Studies to progress the Plutonic development pipeline continued during the quarter. The Trident DFS is expected to be completed in the coming months, and significant work is underway to prioritise the pipeline of potential developments and exploration opportunities across the belt.

In Victoria, the Company continues to progress plans for the submission of an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Four Eagles Exploration Tunnel.


“The December quarter represents the second full quarter of ownership by Catalyst. Like the September quarter, we continue to see the productivity initiatives implemented by the new management translating into better operating results.

Pleasingly, this was best reflected in Plutonic’s safety record with no incidents recorded during the quarter – the first time this has been achieved since June 2022.

“The Trident DFS is continuing and remains a focus despite the change in total ounces and gold grade of the updated Resource. The date of release of the DFS is still to be determined.

“Encouragingly, during November and December, Henty saw a turnaround in performance. Improvements in mill availability, gold grade and equipment utilisation were seen.

“Following the recruitment and coordination of a new project development team, in conjunction with Catalyst’s pre-existing exploration team, the company is developing a plan to methodically explore and assess the full potential of the Plutonic Gold Belt.

“The March, June and September quarters represented a period of significant change for Catalyst, with transactions, new hires and working through numerous inherited legacy items. The December quarter marked more of a digestion of these efforts. Safety is improving, the newly formed team are working well together, understanding of the Plutonic operations improves monthly, multiple legal disputes of Vango Mining and Superior Gold were settled, creditors reduced, a TSF lift was completed, and equipment purchased to replace both old and hired fleet. 

At this stage, while challenges remain in the shorter term, we plan for production and safety metrics to continue improving across both sites over time.” 


The new Safety Leadership Team at Plutonic has been focussed on building a strong safety culture at site. While this takes time, very pleasingly, no reportable safety incidents were recorded at Plutonic during the quarter.

During the quarter, the Carnarvon Magistrates court handed down its sentence to Billabong Gold Pty Ltd (a 100% Catalyst subsidiary holding the Plutonic Gold Mine) in relation to a 2020 workplace incident. This event occurred prior to Catalyst’s ownership of the mine.

Henty recorded one lost time injury for the quarter relating to an uncontrolled detonation. A formal investigation into the incident was conducted in liaison with Worksafe Tasmania and Orica. No party could determine the cause of the incident.

Table 1: December 2023 group safety performance (12-month moving average)






LTIFR (per million hours worked)




Plutonic Gold Operations

The December quarter was focused on improving the site’s safety performance, cementing previous quarter’s production metrics and gaining a better understanding of mine planning. 

There were no reportable safety incidents recorded in the quarter. Development and production drill metres, ore tonnes mined and processed continued in line with the previous quarter. Considerable work was undertaken in mine planning with considerably more to do. Suffering from historical underinvestment, recruitment of a new planning team is underway. At Plutonic this is compounded by the style of mineralisation and the now remnant nature of the mine. This demands additional engineering and planning than typically required for a mine of this size. This does create ongoing uncertainty to operations.

Further incremental improvements are planned over time as new underground equipment arrives on site. At the end of the quarter, Catalyst had invested in the purchase of two new loaders and three trucks to replace either ageing equipment or hire units. This equipment should deliver improved availabilities for the fleet in the near term.

Important for Plutonic’s longer term success is identifying new Resources in virgin areas near existing underground mine infrastructure. Delineating such Resources reduces pressure and risk on operations. Through an ability to mine virgin areas, mine planning and operations will become easier. During the quarter, several …

Full story available on


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *