The Western Australian office of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended that the Minister for Environment approve the development of KBL Mining’s Sorby Hills Silver-Lead-Zinc Project. The company has scheduled the construction phase for mid-2014 with operations around 12 months later.
The EPA report and recommendations to the Minister outline the conditions for development of operation of the project, which is about 50km northeast of the town of Kununurra in the Eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia.
KBL owns Sorby Management Pty Ltd which holds 75% of the Sorby Hills project with the other 25% held by Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead Co. Sorby Hills is one of the world’s largest near-surface, undeveloped lead deposits, close to port infrastructure and a short sea distance from Asian markets.
The project has a global resource of 16.7 million tonnes grading 4.5% lead and 52 grams/tonne silver that is contained in a mineralized trend extending over a 10km strike length.
Stage one of the project development has been designed on the DE and C deposits accounting for 1.5km of the mineralized trend, or 27% of the global resource. A resource review has been completed and a reserve statement is in the final stages of preparation.
KBL has completed a pre-feasibility study for stage one based on a conventional open cut mine and sulphide concentrator operation which generates very robust financial returns. The project has well established infrastructure with sealed road access to the regional centre of Kununurra and established port facilities 160km away at Wyndham.
KBL is expecting to progress the feasibility study, mining permits and operational licences in preparation for project financing, construction and operations.