THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Hillgrove Resources has delivered the first ore to the process plant at the company’s Kanmantoo copper mine project.
Processing through the plant has now commenced.
The first ore to be throughput is to be sourced from stockpiled, crushed, relatively low grade ore, to test the plant and to optimise performance.
The Kanmantoo copper mines project is located less than 55 kilometres from Adelaide in South Australia and currently hosts a Mineral Resource of:
Source: Company announcement
The company said that it expects the first concentrate production soon as the concentrate thickener fills.
Once the plant has been optimised, ore feed will move to higher grade material (0.7 per cent to 0.9 per cent copper), of which about 300,000 tonnes is now stock-piled on the Run-of-Mine pad, situated immediately adjacent to the crushing facility.
Hillgrove anticipates the transition to higher grade feed will occur within days rather than weeks.
“Last evening we commenced production through the mill at the Kanmantoo project, after 12 months and two weeks of a scheduled 12 month construction project,” Hillgrove Resources managing director Drew Simonsen said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“By any measure, this is an outstanding result, and the Kanmantoo and broader Hillgrove team are to be congratulated on this accomplishment.
“The achievement of this milestone changes the company from ‘developer’ to ‘producer’ status.”
The company outlined its next milestone to be the formal hand-over of the plant from the construction contractor, subject to meeting contractual performance criteria.
First revenue is expected in December from the company’s contracted off-take party with the first shipment of concentrate out of Port Adelaide scheduled for early next year.
“I am excited by the number of revenue enhancing and cost reduction initiatives already identified by the very experienced process plant team, and these have the potential to benefit the operation in the next year or so,” Simonsen added.
“In addition, initial results from tonnage and grade reconciliations between mining production and the resource model are very encouraging, with grade in line with expectations, but substantially increased tonnages over those predicted by the block models – hence the size of the stockpile on the ROM pad.
“While much too early to extrapolate this experience to the whole resource, the results to date are very encouraging, with implications for strip ratio as well as providing the operation with added grade control flexibility.”