Hillgrove Resources has revealed opportunities to expand the Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia, with a decline to commence in late 2021.
Hillgrove chief executive officer Lachlan Wallace presented at the Copper to the World conference and said first copper production would occur relatively shortly after the decline and further drilling takes place.
“Looking forward we are looking to put a decline in commencing over the next couple of months to establish some underground drill platforms so we can continue to build out this resource ahead of planned restart next year through a combination of surface and underground drilling,” he said
Hillgrove has undertaken over 17 kilometres of drilling in 2021 to August, as deep as 900 metres below the surface.
The short turnaround between drilling and first copper has been aided by the existing facilities already in place from when the mine was previously operational in the last decade.
“All the infrastructure that we require is in place including a 3.5 million tonne processing facility, plus a full approved and permitted tails dam with adequate capacity for the underground,” he said.
“It’s this infrastructure combined with the relatively short distance between the base of the pit where the portal would be to the mineralised lodes which present a short time period and low cost to achieve first production.”
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.
“This technology will be run for about a 500-metre decline on a trial basis,” Wallace said.
“This type of tech really has the potential to revolutionise the way underground mining is done.
“It has the potential to make it safer, faster, more cost effective, as well as greener too.”