Hellyer Gold Mines (HGM) has delivered its first shipment of silver lead gold concentrate from the port of Burnie following the commissioning of the Hellyer Tailings reprocessing facility on Tasmania’s west coast.

The shipment comprises the first of what will be a total annual shipment of over 36,000 tonnes of silver lead gold concentrate, each year for 10 years, out of the TasRail/TasPorts Burnie holding facility. The AAL Fremantle load on 9 February was being shipped to Korea Zinc for processing in their zinc smelters.

HGM Director, Steve White, said the first delivery has been a great step forward for the company, employees, contractors and off-take partners Traxys Europe S.A.

“The first product shipment proves the technical and commercial viability of the Hellyer reprocessing project. Reprocessing the tailings resource also offers substantial environmental benefits as well,” says Mr White.
 
“The company is committed to using modern processing technology to extract value from legacy tailings at the same time as restoring the mine footprint and repairing any existing environmental damage.

The reprocessing project will substantially reduce the tailings material from the existing storage facility by converting it into saleable products.

The Hellyer mill and tailings storages are located on the edge of the Que River plateau, approximately 700 metres above sea level, with the Southwell River Valley to the East.

The Hellyer underground mine on the West Coast of Tasmania began production in 1989 under the ownership of Aberfoyle Limited, who later sold the operation to Western Metals Resources Limited.

The Hellyer polymetallic ore body was discovered in 1983. The ore was treated on site with the concentrate taken to Burnie for shipment out of the state. Operations ceased at the Hellyer Mine in 2000 when economically available ore at the site became exhausted.

The Hellyer Mine produced 15 million tonnes of ore in the 11 years it was in operation that yielded 601,000 tonnes of bulk concentrate, 2.7 million tonnes of zinc concentrate and 728,000 tonnes of lead concentrate. During this period the mine employed 300 personnel and created AU$1.3 billion in gross revenue.

Hellyer Gold Mines estimates to spend over AU$60m over the life of the project on refurbishment and remediation.