Hillgrove Resources (ASX:HGO) reports ore has been processed through the dry plant which includes primary and secondary crushers, screening plant, conveyor belts, and associated electrical and process control systems at its Kanmantoo underground mine, located just out of Adelaide.
The works is part of the processing plant re-commissioning program.
Hillgrove also recently established a secondary means of egress following installation of a Safescape ladder system.
Concurrently, the pit has been dewatered to below the first stope level, and the development drives above and below the first stope are in place. These were the final critical path activities required to enable stoping.
Raiseboring the slot for the first stope has now started and stoping will then commence with first copper production on track for early 2024.
This follows the arrival of 410 rotatable containers, known as ‘rotainers’ at Port Adelaide in preparation to transport copper concentrate from Kanmantoo to Port Adelaide. The rotainers are specially designed containers that rotate as they are lifted above the ship, enabling the concentrate to fall directly into the hull of the ship for bulk transport.
This design minimises dust and spillage, whilst also enabling control of concentrate blending at the load port. The 410 containers provide storage for up to 12,000 wet metric tonnes (wmt), providing excess storage capacity above planned shipments of approximately 11,000 wmt.
Hillgrove reports local transport company Whittam Transport has been awarded a contract for the initial 4-year mine life to transport the concentrate from Kanmantoo to Port Adelaide.
Commenting on the completion of pre-stope activities, Hillgrove CEO and Managing Director Lachlan Wallace says: “The establishment of the secondary means of egress is another important milestone for the Company. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will commence bulk mining from the stopes and commission the dry circuit of the processing plant in preparation for first copper production early next year.”
The Kanmantoo underground mine operated as a series of open pits from 2010 to 2020, producing around 137,000t of copper and over 55,000oz of gold.
The project is fully permitted and has all of the infrastructure already in place, including an operational 3.6Mtpa processing plant, and a tailings storage facility with plenty of spare capacity.
Mining commenced in May 2023, with first copper production on track for early 2024.
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au