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Austral’s Anthill hauls first ore

Queensland copper producer Austral Resources has announced first ore haulage from its new Anthill mine to the Mt Kelly processing plant and the intention to begin Anthill ore processing by the end of April 2022.

In January, Austral exposed first copper ore at Anthill more than a month ahead of schedule, with the project progressing rapidly since mining was approved in late October 2021.

“The first Anthill ore delivery to our processing facility represents a significant milestone achievement for the company,” Austral chief executive officer Steve Tambanis said.

“Ore stacking onto the heap leach pad is expected to begin in late April and first plates of Anthill copper cathode will be produced in May 2022.

“From July onwards, copper cathode production is expected to exceed 1000 tonnes per month. Rapidly increasing production and higher than forecast copper prices will combine to see healthy sales revenue from May.”

More than four million tonnes of overburden has been moved since January 6 this year and when full-scale haulage commences with 125-tonne road trains, each train contains sufficient copper to produce one tonne of recovered copper cathode, or more than $US10,000 ($13,300) per train at current copper prices.

“The crushing circuit successfully processed its first rock as part of the refurbishment and commissioning process,” Tambanis said.

“We currently have over 100 staff and contractors on-site, finishing the plant refurbishment and beginning full-scale ore production. Austral is on track to achieve a planned copper production rate of 10,000 tonnes per annum from mid-2022 for a four-year period.

“We look forward to further updating shareholders as we commence maiden Anthill copper production and step-up exploration and development activities.”

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