Heron Resources has commenced the crushing and processing of its first underground ore from the high-grade G2 lens at the Woodlawn base and precious metals project in New South Wales.
The company mined the G2 lens ore 135 metres below surface. It was discovered during Heron’s on-mine exploration drilling programs in 2017.
Heron has completed its first stages of commissioning using tailings reclaim feed material to reduce costs, with some preliminary commissioning of the crushing and ball mill plant in August and September.
The plant is now receiving run-of-mine underground ore and will complete a campaign solely on this feed source. This marks the start of Heron’s ramp up phase for this part of the Woodlawn circuit.
In steady state, the plant will alternate between campaigns of tailings reclaim feed and underground ore.
Heron chairman Stephen Dennis said the first ore mined and now processed from the G2 lens was a significant achievement for the Woodlawn operations.
“The high-grade G2 lens was planned to be the first underground ore through the plant and will generate early revenue in these first stages of underground mining,” Dennis said.
Heron delivered around 10,000 dry metric tonnes of G2 stoped ore to the plant, at 3.9 per cent zinc, 1.3 per cent lead, 0.3 per cent copper, 31 grams per tonne silver and 0.6 grams per tonne gold.
The company continued processing reclaimed tailings, with underground ore campaigns scheduled in line with Woodlawn production plan.
Heron anticipates the plant to sustainably achieve rated capacity from mid-2020.
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.