Hillgrove Resources has announced the commencement of copper production at its Kanmantoo mine, marking a key achievement with the first copper concentrate produced following the successful commissioning of the processing facility. This development was achieved within the targeted first quarter of 2024 timeframe.
With this milestone, Hillgrove emerges as one of the select pure play copper producers listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), expecting its first revenues from the sale of copper concentrate this week. The company highlighted the potential for significant growth in resources and an extension of the mine’s life. This optimism is supported by a substantial Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) Exploration Target at the project, estimating between 60 and 100 million tonnes at 0.9% to 1.2% copper and 0.1g/t to 0.2g/t gold. Recent drilling results have reinforced this potential, with notable findings including 36.6 meters at 3.35% copper from 43 meters downhole in East Kavanagh and other significant intercepts in various locations within the mine.
An important operational improvement noted is the establishment of mains power to the underground operation, which has led to a substantial reduction in power costs by approximately 65%, from around $0.40 per kilowatt-hour to about $0.13 per kilowatt-hour. Furthermore, connecting to the South Australian power grid—over 70% of which is supplied by renewable energy—significantly diminishes the carbon footprint of the Kanmantoo operation.
Hillgrove CEO and Managing Director, Lachlan Wallace, expressed enthusiasm about the start of copper production and the transition to generating cash flow. This achievement not only underscores Hillgrove’s operational capabilities but also its commitment to environmental sustainability and efficiency improvements.