Hillgrove Resources to reopen Kanmantoo copper and gold mine in 2022

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The Kanmantoo copper and gold mine in the Adelaide Hills is slated to reopen in 2022, bringing 170 new employment to the community while substantially decreasing emissions.

Hillgrove Resources, which owns and operates the mine, mined a series of open pits at Kanmantoo from 2011 to 2020, producing 137,000 tonnes of copper and 55,000 oz of gold.

The company’s CEO, Lachlan Wallace, said Kanmantoo underground was on track to start production in 2022 for relatively low capital investment due to the existing infrastructure already in place.

“It’s a hugely exciting moment for Hillgrove. We have had excellent drilling results this year – the copper mineralisation extends at least 500m below the base of the open pit and remains open at depth,” he said.

“Crucially, we also have the established infrastructure in place to utilise this opportunity and begin extraction in 2022.”

Hillgrove is currently trialing the Komatsu “MC51 continuous miner” at Kanmantoo which uses DynaCut mechanical cutting technology rather than conventional drilling and blasting for mine development.

The use of the MC51 for underground mining at Kanmantoo mine was facilitated by a $2 million grant from the South Australian Government.

The MC51, which is fully powered by electricity, has already created a portal towards the base of Hillgrove’s completed open pit mine and will develop a 500m underground decline and a number of underground drill platforms to continue to explore the copper-gold mineralisation.

Post the trial, the underground decline will serve as the mine access from which the copper-gold lodes and be accessed and extracted.

Mr Wallace said the continuous mining machine was an enabler for green copper production and low emission mining as South Australia moves to net 100% renewable energy generation by 2030.

“We are also proud of the steps we are taking to develop innovative approaches to ultra-efficient mining and the drastic reduction of emissions,” he added.

“The successful MC51 trial at our operations at Kanmantoo is clear proof of our Australian and global leadership position in this respect.”

Video: Hillgrove Resources YouTube page