Almost three months after record seven-metre flooding forced 29Metals to suspend operations at its Capricorn copper mine in Queensland, the company has completed recovery at the site.
The company withdrew guidance for the site in March but has now updated its guidance to 514,000–584,000 tonnes of ore.
Recovery costs are expected to reach $70–80 million.
Although recovery is complete, the mine is still not expected to open back up fully until 2024.
The site suffered no significant harm to the processing plant, but supporting infrastructure was less fortunate with the company reporting some damage.
However, 29Metals has announced that there is still significant water on site, including approximately 500ml in the Esperanza South underground mine.
“Substantial effort has gone into ensuring that we properly understand the full impact of this unprecedented weather event and implement a responsible plan for the safe return to operations,” 29Metals managing director and chief executive officer Peter Albert said.
“With water levels on site now stabilised, the recovery task has become clearer. Water quality and reducing the additional water brought onto site by this event are the key enablers to recovery.
“I again want to acknowledge the efforts of the 29Metals team. The extraordinary work from our team on site to manage the impact during this extreme event – with no health or safety incidents, no uncontrolled releases of water from on-site water storage facilities and no loss of containment of tailings – is being matched by group-wide efforts to develop and evaluate recovery scenarios.”