THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Hillgrove Resources has produced the first copper concentrate at the company’s Kanmantoo copper mine project, south-east of Adelaide in South Australia.
The grades of the initial concentrate are in the range of 24 per cent to 27 per cent, which the company said it considers being excellent given the low-grade feed that was used for commissioning activity.
The company said it has now moved to using an ore feed of higher-grade material (0.7 per cent to 0.9 per cent copper), of which more than 300,000 tonnes is now stockpiled on the Run-of-Mine pad.
Hillgrove has previously advised that it expects to receive first revenue in December 2011, following delivery of a minimum of 2,500 tonnes of copper concentrate to its storage facilities at Port Adelaide.
The company’s first shipment of concentrate out of Port Adelaide is expected in February 2012.
Source: Company announcement
Hillgrove Resources managing director Drew Simonsen said he was excited that the Kanmantoo copper mine is now producing, and that the company had made the transition from explorer-developer status to that of copper producer.
“We are delighted with the progress we have made during the testing and commissioning period at the plant,” Simonsen said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The transition from first ore feed to first concentrate has progressed smoothly.
“It is a tribute to the construction and commissioning teams at Kanmantoo that the significant milestone of first concentrate has been achieved so quickly and without major issue.”
Hillgrove said the crushing circuit has achieved spot throughputs in excess of design capacity, which augurs well for plant throughput capacity as Kanmantoo ramps up to full production.
The plant contains surplus capacity providing Hillgrove with considerable flexibility for operational fine tuning and ultimately, low-cost expansion.
“Our next milestone will be first revenue for Kanmantoo, which will be achieved when we deliver 2,500 tonnes of concentrate to our storage facilities at Port Adelaide,” Simonsen said.