Heron Resources has marked the start of works at its wholly owned Woodlawn Zinc-Copper project
Construction of the 1.5Mtpa processing plant and associated infrastructure is expected to take approximately 15 months with commissioning in late 2018 ahead of first production in early 2019.
Both the lead construction contractor, Sedgman, and the earthworks contractor, Ertech, have commenced mobilisation to site.
The Woodlawn project will provide for approximately 250 jobs during the construction phase with more than 150 permanent employees required to support the ongoing operations.
Where possible, the company said it is committed to sourcing its workforce from the region as well as utilising local suppliers throughout its construction and operations.
“Today’s ground breaking at Woodlawn marks a major milestone in Heron’s journey from a developer toward becoming a long term, low cost and profitable base metals producer,” said Heron’s managing director Wayne Taylor .
“The commencement of construction is the culmination of many years hard work by our team and would not be possible without the support of our shareholders, financiers and the local community.
As the zinc price reaches near 10-year highs, and with market fundamentals underpinning a robust price outlook, it’s a strong reinforcement of the project’s excellent timing and the need to ensure we meet our construction schedule and bring Woodlawn into production by early 2019.”
After securing shareholder approval of the $240 million finance package earlier this month, Heron is now fully funded through construction of the Woodlawn Project, with approximately $156 million budgeted in pre-production capital expenditure.
Once commissioned and running at nameplate capacity, the Woodlawn Processing Plant will produce 40,000tpa of zinc, 10,000tpa of copper and 12,000tpa of lead in concentrates which are planned to be exported from Port Kembla and / or Port Botany.
Based on the total resource and exploration upside both at Woodlawn and regionally, there is significant potential to extend the mine life beyond its initial mineable Reserves of 9.3 years.
Assistant minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor joined Goulburn Mulwaree mayor Bob Kirk to turn the first soil on the construction site.