Galena Mining subsidiary Abra Mining has begun mining of the underground decline at its Abra base metals project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, marking a significant milestone for the lead-silver project.
Mining contractor Byrnecut commenced its work on the underground decline following the completion of final box-cut preparation works and services installation, and deployment of workers and equipment to the mine site.
Byrnecut will continue primary decline works for approximately 14 months to gain access to the orebody, with the Abra Base Metals Project on track for first commercial ore production at the start of 2023.
Galena managing director Tony James said he is thrilled by the progress that’s been made at Abra.
“Taking the first cut in the portal to start the underground decline at Abra is very exciting. This keeps us on track for first commercial production of our high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate at the start of 2023,” he said.
“It is also the historical beginning of mining in the very prospective Edmund Sedimentary Basin. Special appreciation is given to Byrnecut and the Abra team on site for the extremely professional approach taken to achieve the official commencement of underground mining at Abra.”
It comes after Abra Mining executed contracts for port access and haulage, storage and stevedoring services contracts just last week.
Abra inked a 10-year agreement with Mid-West Ports Authority enabling the company the right to export up to 140,000 tonnes of mineral concentrate per annum through Geraldton Port’s common user facilities.
The five-year haulage, storage and stevedoring services contract with Qube Ports will see Abra use Qube’s Rotabox system for the loading, transportation, storage and stevedoring of its lead-silver concentrate from mine to port.
Byrnecut finalised its four-year contract with Abra in September. The mining contractor had been working closely with Abra since early 2020 when the original tender was developed.
Galena’s definitive feasibility study indicated a 16-year life for the Abra project, with lead-silver concentrate containing approximately 95,000 tonnes of lead and 805,000 ounces of silver per year after ramp-up.