Austral Resources Commences Mining at Anthill
Anthill Mine development
Commencement of bulk mining at Anthill on 7 January 2022 represents a key development milestone for Austral's copper production strategy.
In two short months since listing on the ASX, Austral's team of employees and contractors have safely managed the transformation of a paddock into a mine. The mining fleet was mobilised whilst the site team cleared the pit areas, established haul roads and ROM pad, installed site infrastructure, then began drilling and blasting.
Mining commenced on 7 January with one excavator and two trucks on dayshift. A second excavator and trucks will begin bulk mining this week and the operation will commence mining on both a dayshift and nightshift. Drilled and blasted volumes are well ahead of schedule with 430,000bcm ready for mining. This should see Anthill achieve planned development tonnages by the end of January and first ore mined in April 2022.
Mount Kelly refurbishment
The Mount Kelly facility is being prepared to process Anthill ore from Q2 this year. The crushing and heap leach ore stacking circuit refurbishment is approximately 70% complete and on schedule to begin trial commissioning in late February. Work includes conveyor belt replacement, electrical test work, structural repairs, secondary crusher rebuild, safety guarding and agglomerator relining.
The electrowinning circuit is being readied to increase production from the current 5tpd of copper cathode to 30tpd by mid 2022, corresponding to 10,000tpa of cathode production.
Austral's Chief Executive Officer, Steve Tambanis, commented:
"It's pleasing to see site work conducted safely, on schedule and building momentum. This is a testament to the hard work of Austral's employees and contractors.
The Anthill mine is a hive of activity with two blast rigs working ahead of the mining fleet to deliver broken ground. Clearing is nearing completion over the two pits, dewatering and monitoring bores are being installed, and topsoil is being stockpiled for future rehabilitation. Our Mount Kelly processing facility is being prepared to accept Anthill ore with the crushing and stacking circuit refurbishment 70% complete. The electrowinning circuit is being prepared to produce in excess of 1,000 tonnes/month of copper cathode.
We have 100 personnel onsite to undertake the Anthill Mine development and plant refurbishment prior to ore deliveries from April this year. Multiple mining contractors are working safely and seamlessly to assist Austral achieve planned copper production of 10,000tpa commencing mid-2022.
Exploration and development activities are currently being expanded with the goal of fast-tracking discoveries.
We look forward to further shareholder updates as we prepare to commence maiden copper production from Anthill and begin exploration and development activities."
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About Austral Resources Australia Ltd
Austral Resources Australia Ltd (ASX:AR1) is a copper cathode producer operating in the Mt Isa region, Queensland, Australia. Its Mt Kelly copper oxide heap leach and solvent extraction/electrowinning (SXEW) plant has a nameplate capacity of 30,000tpa of copper cathode. Austral is developing its Anthill oxide copper mine which has an Ore Reserve of 5.06Mt at 0.94% Cu. The Company expects to produce 40,000t of copper cathode over a four-year period from mid-2022.
Austral owns a significant copper inventory with a JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate of 60Mt at 0.7% Cu and 1,940km2 of highly prospective exploration tenure in the heart of the Mt Isa district, a world class copper and base metals province. The Company is implementing an intensive exploration and development programme designed to extend the life of mine and increase then review options to commercialise its copper resources.
Austral Resources Australia Ltd