Tasmania’s mining resurgence has continued with the Hellyer gold mine’s first shipment of silver-lead-gold concentrate from the port of Burnie.
The AAL Fremantle load was the first of what will be a total annual shipment of over 36,000 tonnes of silver-lead-gold concentrate for the next 10 years.
It marks the successful commissioning of Hellyer’s tailings reprocessing facility on the west coast.
The existing tailings dam had around 9.5 million tonnes of material containing high-grade gold, silver, lead, zinc and Pyrite, according to Hellyer in July 2018.
Hellyer Gold Mines director Steve White said the company was committed to using modern process technology to extract value from legacy tailings at the same time as restoring the mine footprint and repairing any existing environmental damage.
“The twin goals of generating shareholder and environmental value are being met with the Hellyer project,” White said.
“The project and the prospect of generating value from an unused legacy resource to rehabilitate the old mine site has really captured everyone’s imagination.
“We must also stress just how welcoming the Tasmanian community has been while we were developing the project. … [Tasmania] is a great place to do business at present.”
The first shipment was heading to Korea Zinc for processing in their zinc smelters.
Hellyer, which began production in 1989, ceased operations in 2000 when economically available ore at the site became exhausted.
The mine came under the ownership of London-listed NQ Minerals in 2017 when it acquired Keen Pacific, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary Hellyer Gold Mines.
The Hellyer mill and tailings storages are on the edge of the Que River plateau, with the Southwell River Valley to the east.