Copper miner Austral Resources Australia has commenced mining at its Anthill copper project in Queensland and is now ramping up to its mid-year goal of 10,000 tonnes per year.

Commencement of Anthill East Pit mining. Photo: Austral Resources
First overburden was moved at the site on 7 January. Ore mining is expected to begin in April, as development and the plant’s preparation are on schedule.

The fleet at Anthill includes two 350-t excavators, four 210-t dump trucks, a pair of blasthole rigs and a support fleet.

The start follows a months-long process for site preparation to establish site infrastructure, plant mobilisation, pit clearing and haul road preparation. Austral noted the Mount Kelly processing plant, which is undergoing refurbishment, is progressing on schedule with its crushing circuit at 70% completion, and work is advancing at the heap leach solvent extraction plant to begin processing Anthill’s ore in the second quarter.

“The Anthill mine is a hive of activity with two blast rigs working ahead of the mining fleet to deliver broken ground,” Austral CEO Steve Tambanis said.

“Clearing is nearing completion over the two pits, dewatering and monitoring bores are being installed, and topsoil is being stockpiled for future rehabilitation. The electrowinning circuit is being prepared to produce in excess of 1,000 tonnes/month of copper cathode.”

The Anthill project lies within the Lady Annie project at the company’s complex. The mineral resource estimate at Anthill is 13.8 million tonnes.

Source: Austral Resources