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Kanmantoo copper mine will reopen, creating 130 jobs
Hillgrove Resources has announced plans to begin underground mining beneath the pit at its Adelaide Hills mine.
The reopening of a copper mine at Kanmantoo will create 130 jobs over the next six months, operators Hillgrove Resources have announced.
Tunnelling has already started beneath the main pit at the former open-cut mine, which closed in 2020.
The company estimated that another 43,500 tons of copper could be accessible further beneath the ground.
Hillgrove’s drill struck copper ore after digging only 13 metres into the rock.
The mine will ramp back up to full production over the second half of this year, and copper processing is expected to resume in the first quarter of 2024.
Managing director Lachlan Wallace said it was an exciting time.
“A great team has been established with a high level of underground experience, and they have wasted no time in getting the underground development underway,” he said.
“The attraction of building a new mine in the Adelaide Hills has resulted in strong interest from many experienced operators and technical professionals wishing to pursue their mining career without compromising work-life balance with a fly-in, fly-out roster.”
State Infrastructure, Energy, Transport and Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis described the milestone as “fantastic”, and copper – used in electrical wiring – as an important part of global efforts to shift towards renewable energy.
The new mining activity became possible thanks to $38 million worth of investment by old and new shareholders earlier this year.
Hillgrove had flagged the possibility of underground mining at Kanmantoo as far back as 2020, when it pulled out of a deal that would have turned the mine’s main pit into a hydro-electric energy storage facility.
Operations at the open-cut mine were wound down around the same time.
The company had previously announced, in late 2021, that the mine would reopen in 2022; but that timeline was later pushed back.
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