Kimberley Metals has started commissioning of the refurbished process plant at the Mineral Hill Copper-Gold Project, 65km north of the town of Condobolin in central-western New South Wales, Australia.

Crushing of development ore has been achieved to the fine ore bins in preparation for first ore feed to the mills. Commissioning of the primary crusher, secondary crusher, conveyors and interstage screen, and Mill No 1 has been completed. Commissioning is on target with the mining schedule to achieve first copper concentrate production early this month.

The company has been engaged in refurbishing and modernization works at the Mineral Hill processing plant since August 2010 in preparation for a recommencement of production from the mine initially with the production of copper concentrates.

Mechanical refurbishment of the plant is approaching 100% complete. Minor piping in the flotation area and electrical installations remain to achieve full plant availability for production of copper concentrates.

Kimberley’s CEO and chairman Jim Wall says, “The start of commissioning work at Mineral Hill is a credit to the strong, predominantly local, team of tradesmen and professionals focused on delivering the company to the status of producer on time and on-budget expectations.”

Remaining works to achieve full plant availability are mainly electrical upgrades in the flotation area to meet Australian Standards and to complete installations of the Main Control Cabinet (MCC) and Process Logical Control (PLC) system. The refurbished mill is expected to have an annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes, up from the previous 200,000 tonnes.

At the adjacent Parkers Hill Underground Mine 168 metres of development has been completed on the 1225 level Access Drive. Development is now within 30 metres of the high grade copper ore zone with the work on schedule and budget.

All ground support by bolting and meshing of the decline drive has been completed with all underground mining equipment mobilized and operational at site.

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