29Metals’ Capricorn copper mine is still feeling the effects of unprecedented rainfall in Queensland, with the full reinstatement of the mine scheduled for 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.
29Metals will undertake a phased approach to reinstate full mining capabilities at the site.
Initial reinstatement of operations, with a combination of ore mined from the Mammoth and Greenstone ore sources and stockpiles is planned to commence in the mid-September quarter of 2023.
Complete reinstatement, including the recommencement of mining at Esperanza South, will not be possible until the middle of the first quarter of 2024.
“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.”
The company is expected to finalise the recovery plan by mid-May and will update the market again once it has done so.