The historic Central Norseman gold mine will be restarted under a joint venture between Kimberley producer Pantoro and the project’s existing owners.

Pantoro announced yesterday it would take a 50 per cent stake in Central Norseman as part of a staged US$72 ($105) million cash, scrip and royalty deal with Central Norseman Gold Corporation, which is controlled by Kevin Maloney’s Tulla Resources Group.

The miner announced a US$29 ($43) million placement to help fund the transaction with the balance to come through scrip and existing cash reserves.

The deal comes after forfeiture applications over several tenements at the project were settled.

Central Norseman has produced more than 5.5Moz of gold since it was discovered in 1894.

Originally one of Western Mining’s key gold production regions from 1935 until 2002, the project was divested along with the remainder of the company’s gold division around that time.

Little systematic exploration has been undertaken since the late 1990s.

Pantoro will initially focus on open pit ore sources at Central Norseman and exploration aimed at expanding the known resources.

The company says the extensive existing infrastructure on site make production from the historic project a near term reality.

Managing Director Paul Cmrlec said Central Norseman was a clear standout for Pantoro with large, high-grade mineral resources, and extensive infrastructure already in place.

It is historically regarded as one of the highest grade mines in the Goldfields.

Central Norseman hosts mineral resources of 35.5Mt at 3.9 grams per tonne for 4.4 million ounces.

The project comprises 146 near contiguous mining, exploration, and prospecting tenements, covering more than 1000sqkm.

Central Norseman Gold Corporation has been trying for the past two years to sell Central Norseman but has been unable to reach an agreement with interested parties.

Until now, Pantoro has been focused on its Halls Creek project, which it acquired five years ago.