Hillgrove Resources has signed a contract with Komatsu to establish a portal, exploration decline and underground drill platforms at its Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia.
The agreement will enable acceleration of drilling programs from underground and establish a quicker pathway to mining with early development works to begin next month.
Hillgrove managing director Lachlan Wallace said commencing the decline is a significant milestone in the Kanmantoo underground development.
“Komatsu’s DynaCut continuous mining technology has the potential to transform underground mine development design and processes and the team is excited to have the opportunity to apply it at Kanmantoo,” Wallace said.
“Although the application of any new technology in a production setting can be sometimes viewed as higher risk, this trial commences the decline a year ahead of schedule, and the deferred and contingent nature of the Komatsu agreement, coupled with the $2 million state government grant allows Hillgrove to facilitate the trial and create the underground access and drill platforms for minimal cash outflow.”
Wallace said drilling to date has demonstrated that the ore lodes mined in the Kanmantoo open pits continue below the base of the pits, with grade, width and continuity to support underground development.
“I expect that recent drilling will increase the existing resource and with this raising, we will continue drilling and accelerate development plans ahead of a planned mine recommencement next year,” Wallace said.
“I am confident that the planned works will create value for our shareholders through the potential recommencement of copper and gold production at Kanmantoo, which enables us to unlock the value of the region through further advancement of the near mine and regional exploration projects”.
Hillgrove also secured a $2 million grant from the South Australian Government in August which allowed it to trial the Komatsu MC51 continuous cutting machine in its efforts to accelerate the project.