The West

Norton Gold Fields' Paddington mine.
Norton Gold Fields' Paddington mine.

Chinese owned Norton Gold Fields will spend $38 million replacing hired mining equipment to move to an owner-operator model at its Paddington mine as part of a bid to ramp-up production and reduce costs.

The company said funding would be sourced from the previously announced $US105 million credit facility through the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Norton managing director and chief executive Dr Dianmin Chen said the approval of the owner-operator structure represented an important step in the company's strategy to increase production.

"The new equipment fleet will increase productivity through improved fleet mechanical availability, and will also improve our operation cost profile," he said.

Norton is aiming to lift Paddington's production from 150,000ozpa to 300,000ozpa within five years.

Norton shares were up half a cent, or 2.38 per cent, to 21.5 cents at 10.45am.

The West Australian

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