ASX-listed Hillgrove Resources has produced first concentrate from the Kanmantoo copper mine, in South Australia, following successful commissioning of the processing facility.
Plant commissioning and production of copper was achieved within the targeted timeframe of the first quarter of 2024.
Hillgrove is now positioned as one of the few pure play copper producers on the ASX with first revenues from sales of the copper concentrate to be received this week, the company avers.
It adds that a considerable opportunity exists to grow the resource and mine life, citing the considerable Joint Ore Reserves Committee exploration target at the project of 60-million to 100-million tonnes at 0.9% to 1.2% copper and 0.1 g/t to 0.2 g/t gold and recent drilling results as evidence of this.
Mains power has now been established to the underground operation resulting in about a 65% cost reduction in power cost from about $0.40/kWh to about $0.13/kWh.
Further, connection to the South Australian power grid, which is supplied by more than 70% renewable energy generation, considerably reduces Kanmantoo’s carbon footprint.
“First copper production from the Kanmantoo underground operation, and the transition to cashflow generation, is a watershed moment for the company. Over the next few months, the mine output and copper production are expected to ramp up as the planned additional work areas are established underground.
“Completing this transition from explorer to producer makes Hillgrove Resources one of only a few copper producers on the ASX, and doing so in eight months highlights the company’s capability to deliver on stated objectives,” says Hillgrove CEO and MD Lachlan Wallace.
Operations will be bedded down at Kanmantoo as the company ramps up to steady stage production, and its attention will turn to growing the business by converting future exploration and development opportunities, he explains.
“The project is well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated growth in demand for copper as the world continues to decarbonise through electrification.
“To leverage our position as a copper producer into the future, we are actively seeking to grow both the mine life and the annual copper production profile through exploration, starting with our substantial 60-million- to 100-million-tonne exploration target within close proximity to the underutilised processing plant, including the recently discovered Kanmantoo Deeps target,” Wallace informs.