Hillgrove Resources has been given a A$2 million grant to conduct a trial of Komatsu underground mining technology for portal development at its Kanmantoo mine in South Australia.

The funds, which were bestowed to the miner from the South Australian government, will aid in the company’s advancement from a former open-pit site to underground copper production.

Specifically, the Komatsu MC51 continuous mining machine with the OEM’s DynaCut mechanical cutting technology will be used to develop a portal and about 500 m of an underground decline with the added benefit of reduced emissions. The trial, Hillgrove said, will demonstrate the commercial viability of the machine as well as test out new materials handling and ground support processes.

The decline, the miner added, will also include the advantage of the development of underground drilling platforms for reduced drilling cost as the underground resource is expanded.

“The trial at Kanmantoo is an important collaboration between the State Government, Komatsu and Hillgrove to facilitate the commercialisation of continuous mining technology which has the potential to revolutionise underground mine development by making underground operations safer and more productive, whilst taking a significant step towards zero emission mining,” Hillgrove CEO and MD Lachlan Wallace said.

“The development of an underground decline and drill platforms represents an exciting milestone for the Kanmantoo Underground, which ultimately brings forward the potential restart of copper production and further reduces what is already a relatively low-cost mine development.”

Source: Hillgrove Resources

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