Forgotten silver mine sparks Alien interest

Elizabeth Hill silver mine c. 2000. Image: Alien Metals.

Alien Metals has mobilised to restart the Elizabeth Hill silver mine near Karratha in Western Australia, with machinery and equipment weeks from re-entering the dormant operation.

The mine has been mothballed since 2000, when previous joint venture partners East Coast Minerals and Legend Mining fell out during low silver prices, and will now become a statewide one-of-a-kind.

The mine has produced more than one million ounces of silver at an average grade of 2195 grams per tonne, including one 180-kilogram silver nugget.

Alien Metals chief executive officer and technical director Bill Brodie Good said the company would tap into those who knew the operation best in its efforts to uncover the historic resource.

“We have been very fortunate to both find and secure the services of personnel with previous experience of the Elizabeth Hill silver project,” Good said.

“This local knowledge will be incredibly valuable during the re-opening work at Elizabeth Hill.”

Alien revealed it would enlist the help of the original miners who carried out the underground development when the mine was first opened.

Initial steps to restart the mine will involve significant dewatering, before mapping and sampling can be undertaken to understand the remaining orebody.

Good said Alien was mobilising at pace to begin development.

“We have purchased all the necessary equipment to support the mine re-opening, along with a small but fully self-contained field camp,” he said.

“This will give us a terrific on-site platform to plan and carry out work across the local tenements.

“Ultimately, going back underground presents us with a fantastic opportunity to work on the remaining resource and increase our knowledge and geological understanding of the project.”

Initial assay results are expected before the end of 2021, with safe and open underground access expected in the first quarter of 2022.

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