Austral Resources has seen first overburden moved at its Anthill copper mine in central Queensland, after Thiess was confirmed as the contractor late last year.
Two 350-tonne excavators and four 210-tonne dump trucks were responsible for removing the overburden, with two blasthole rigs and support fleet also in attendance.
Once these initial works are complete, first ore is expected to be mined by April.
Austral chief executive officer Steve Tambanis said activity at the operation was humming along nicely.
“It’s pleasing to see site work conducted safely, on schedule and building momentum,” he said.
“The Anthill mine is a hive of activity with two blast rigs working ahead of the mining fleet to deliver broken ground.
“Clearing is nearing completion over the two pits, dewatering and monitoring bores are being installed, and topsoil is being stockpiled for future rehabilitation.”
Austral’s Mount Kelly processing facility is also nearing completion, with 70 per cent of the circuit’s refurbishment ticked off.
Tambanis said the company was on track to achieve its production target by the middle of the year.
“We have 100 personnel onsite to undertake the Anthill mine development and plant refurbishment prior to ore deliveries from April this year,” he said.
“Multiple mining contractors are working safely and seamlessly to assist Austral achieve planned copper production of 10,000 tonnes per annum commencing mid-2022.”
Thiess is earning $95 million over three years for mining services at Anthill, while blast management company Orica and drill specialists Roc-Drill are also involved in the developments.
The project’s first blast broke 110,000 cubic metres of iron stone in Anthill’s east pit in November 2021, just three weeks after final approval was received.