Hillgrove Resources has taken possession of its Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia, after completion of the recently commissioned $138 million plant by Abesque Engineering.

The company is already trucking concentrate product in containers to storage at Port Adelaide, and will collect its first revenue once 2500 dry metric tonnes of concentrate is accumulated at the port this month. It’s expected the first shipment will leave from Port Adelaide in February.

Hillgrove’s managing director Drew Simonsen says, “The company is pleased to have commenced operations with its own personnel, and recent plant performance has been excellent, with regular operation of the crusher, SAG mill and wet plant at about 90% of design throughput.

“Our shareholders now have a great asset with significant operational flexibility and optionality, with ramp-up well under way, and the very real prospect of near-term cashflow.”

Construction of the mine was essentially completed in November 2011, bringing the mine into production for the first time in 35 years.

The open-cut project includes a crushing facility, tailings storage dam and ball mill. Hillgrove has also manufactured 450 haulage and storage containers for shipping concentrate from Port Adelaide.

The containers are designed to minimize losses in transport, port-handling and shiploading, and represent the new standard for environmental transport, storage and ship loading of bulk commodities. Each container contains about 27 tonnes of high grade copper concentrate and a local Adelaide Hills haulage company has been contracted to deliver the containers to Port.

Kanmantoo is about 55km from Adelaide, in the Adelaide Hills. Its initial annual throughout will be 2.4 million tonnes, producing 80,000 tonnes of concentrate, 20,000 tonnes of copper metal and 10,000 ounces of gold per year, over a 6 year mine life. Hillgrove will ramp up production through to June 2012.


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