Hillgrove continues Kanmantoo production ramp-up as copper gains strength

As the price of copper gathers pace, Hillgrove Resources (ASX:HGO) says it will continue to ramp up production at its Kanmantoo Underground Copper Mine in South Australia over the next few months. 

The company has completed its April 2024 copper production campaign. Production increased to 719 tonnes this month, up from 239 tonnes in February and 589 tonnes in March, and demonstrated copper recoveries of 90%.  

The milling campaign ran for two weeks. 

Hillgrove, which has a $152.82 million market capitalisation, says operational metrics at the processing plant will likely continue to improve, with increases in plant throughput and copper recovery. 

Hillgrove CEO and Managing Director Lachlan Wallace says higher recovery rates are expected once an upcoming regrind mill is commissioned.  

“The performance of the processing plant has shown marked improvement with each campaign, meeting planned recovery rates particularly in the latter stages of the April campaign as the on-stream analyser was brought online,” Wallace says. 

“Furthermore, the mining rate has accelerated, with multiple stopes now being mined simultaneously and ore being stockpiled for the upcoming May mill campaign. This increased efficiency in production couldn’t come at a better time, as it allows us to take full advantage of the current record Australian dollar prices.”

The price rise and production update comes a week ahead of Hillgrove’s attendance at the RIU Sydney Resources Round-up at Darling Harbour’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on 7-9 May 2024.

As of today, the price of copper is sitting around US$4.58 per pound (A$7.00), a 14.67% increase from March, according to Trading Economics.    

Trading Economics also notes that copper briefly broke the threshold of US$10,000 per tonne for the first time in two years in London due to growing supply concerns and bullish long-term demand which spurred a fresh round of speculative buying.

The Kanmantoo Mine sits 55km from Adelaide and was previously operated as a series of open pits from 2010 to 2020, producing about 137,000 tonnes of copper and over 55,000 ounces of gold.

The regional area comprises 5,652km2 of exploration licences within the Kanmantoo province.

As of 31 March 2024, the company had $7.43 million in cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report. 

Last year’s RIU Sydney Resources Round-up attracted more than 1,500 delegates, making it the busiest since its inception in 2004. With over 800 of last year’s delegates coming from the investor or broker/fund categories, this conference offers investor engagement opportunities.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Hillgrove Resources
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.