Heron Resources has marked the start of full production activities with ore processing at its Woodlawn zinc-copper mine in New South Wales.
The company has commenced processing of its reclaimed tailings from hydraulic mining operations at the full production rate to help keep mining costs down.
Woodlawn will now be progressively ramped up to an estimated throughput capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year.
Heron is focused on achieving design recoveries and meeting product quality specifications for the zinc, copper and lead produced at Woodlawn.
“We are excited to have now achieved this significant milestone in the transition from explorer to producer with the processing of the first reclaimed tailing through the Woodlawn plant,” Heron managing director Wayne Taylor said.
“Commencing operations is timely, and we look forward to taking advantage of continuing favourable conditions in base metals markets as we ramp-up our operations.”
Heron is also preparing for processing of Woodlawn’s first underground ore, which is expected to occur following the ramp-up program.
Underground mining at Woodlawn has continued to perform well, according to Heron, with production exceeding plans for the third consecutive month and 1.4 kilometres of development completed to date.
The Woodlawn project is expected to produce an average of 40,000 tonnes of zinc, 10,000 tonnes of copper, 12,000 tonnes of lead, 900,000 ounces of silver and 4000 ounces of gold each year over an initial mine life in excess of nine years.
Heron’s IP geophysical survey on anomalies north of the Woodlawn mine is also being commissioned, with targets to be drill tested in the coming weeks.