First Anthill Copper Cathode Plated
This paves the way for Austral to meet its stated objective of producing copper cathode at a rate of 10,000tpa from mid 2022.
Austral's Chief Executive Officer, Steve Tambanis, commented:
"This production milestone is of huge significance for Austral. It concludes an intensive eight-month period where the Anthill Mine was developed from a bare paddock into a fully integrated mine and the Mt Kelly plant was refurbished and commissioned.
Production statistics are impressive:
- 8.5Mt of overburden has been moved at Anthill since January
- 354,000t of oxide ore has been mined, representing over 4,000t of contained copper
- Over 70,000t of Anthill ore has been stacked on the heap leach and is producing copper
- Positive mine grade reconciliation to date
The most important aspect is that the operation is de-risked and comfortably ramping-up to design capacity of 10,000tpa cathode. With that comes increased sales revenue and cashflow.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of our employees and contractors for delivering a safe and successful start-up. Thiess, Roc-Drill, Orica, Northline Copper, DBC Haulage have been wonderful. Simply an awesome team effort.
So, what's next?
Our exploration and development activities are being scaled up to discover and deliver new copper ore. The MIM JV is a significant step to increasing our exploration efforts - with a seasoned regional explorer that has operated in the district for decades. Austral commences oxide exploration drilling this month at a number of prospects and sulphide exploration drilling is planned to begin shortly at Lady Colleen. Discussions are underway with other potential exploration JV partners.
We look forward to further updating shareholders as we continue building copper production from Anthill and scale-up exploration and development activities to further increase production and extend mine life."
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About Austral Resources Australia Ltd
Austral Resources Australia Ltd (ASX:AR1) is a copper cathode producer operating in the Mt Isa region, Queensland, Australia. Its Mt Kelly copper oxide heap leach and solvent extraction/electrowinning (SXEW) plant has a nameplate capacity of 30,000tpa of copper cathode. Austral is developing its Anthill oxide copper mine which has an Ore Reserve of 5.06Mt at 0.94% Cu. The Company expects to produce 40,000t of copper cathode over a four-year period from mid-2022.
Austral owns a significant copper inventory with a JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate of 60Mt at 0.7% Cu and 1,940km2 of highly prospective exploration tenure in the heart of the Mt Isa district, a world class copper and base metals province. The Company is implementing an intensive exploration and development programme designed to extend the life of mine and increase then review options to commercialise its copper resources.
Austral Resources Australia Ltd