Copper production begins at Hillgrove’s Kanmantoo mine
Hillgrove Resources (ASX: HGO) has produced its first copper concentrate from the Kanmantoo underground mine following successful commissioning of the processing facility within the targeted timeframe of Q1 CY24.
The project is located about 55km from Adelaide, South Australia, with the company operating a series of open pits from 2010-2020, producing about 137kt of copper and 55koz of gold.
After successful studies, underground development works commenced in mid-2023 with a single decline towards the base of one of their pits.
Hillgrove chief executive and managing director Lachlan Wallace says first copper production from the Kanmantoo underground operation and the transition to cashflow generation is a watershed moment for the company.
“Over the next few months, the mine output and copper production are expected to ramp up as the planned additional work areas are established underground,” he said.
“Completing this transition from explorer to producer makes Hillgrove Resources one of only a few copper producers on the ASX, and doing so in eight months highlights the company’s capability to deliver on stated objectives.
“Operations will be bedded down at Kanmantoo as we ramp up to steady stage production, and our attention will turn to growing the business by converting future exploration and development opportunities.
Mr Wallace says the project is well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated growth in demand for copper as the world continue to decarbonise through electrification.
“To leverage our position as a copper producer in the future, we are actively seeking to grow both the mine life and the annual copper production profile through exploration, starting with our substantial 60-100mt exploration target within close proximity to the underutilised processing plant, including the recently discovered Kanmantoo Deeps target.”