How Argo Surety Backed One Mining Client’s Innovative Plan - Argo Group

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How Argo Surety Backed One Mining Client’s Innovative Plan

The companies forged a close partnership that resulted in a significant reduction in estimated costs.

When New Century Resources acquired a zinc mine in Queensland, Australia, they estimated cleanup costs of over 220 million Australian dollars. New Century needed an insurer that could work closely with them to understand the unique challenges ahead. That’s why they turned to Argo.  

“Argo did extensive due diligence to understand our unique business,” says New Century Resources Managing Director Patrick Walta.  

Understanding client needs while remaining flexible

Argo Surety’s team of engineers, including Mike Svonavec, Director of Engineering, and Bryan Mortimer, Senior Engineer, gathered all the information they could to understand New Century’s operations and goals. However, pandemic travel restrictions delayed site visits, requiring Argo to decide whether to move forward or wait. Usually, the team visits a site before issuing a bond. 

“There’s nothing like seeing the place to really understand the business,” Walta says. “Years of audited data can only do so much.” 

However, Argo understood the urgency. Joe Poplawski, SVP, National Underwriting Officer, Mining Practice Leader at Argo Surety, reviewed Patrick’s data with the engineering team. Confident in what they saw and in their own expertise, the team moved forward with the bond despite not being able to conduct a site visit. 

As the project wrapped up and pandemic restrictions eased, Argo Surety team members were able to visit the site and work with New Century to solve any additional challenges as they arose. 

Building a partnership for sustainable extraction projects

As Argo facilitates New Century’s progress, the $220 million cost estimate is shrinking.  

“Our activities every day reduce that number, and it’s now around $180 million,” Walta says.  

He credits Argo Surety’s support and expertise for helping New Century generate revenue and reclaim the Century site.  

“Working with Argo is like a breath of fresh air,” Walta says. “They look for ways to solve problems rather than saying, ‘You solve it and then we’ll talk.’” 

Planning for continued partnership on future projects

New Century intends to work with Argo Surety again.  

“Having our bonding with a supportive partner that wants to be associated with our growth story is powerful,” Walta says. “We plan to do more mines like Century, and with Argo to help us take on the bond, we can deliver value from these mines.”

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