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Hillgrove restarts mining at Kanmantoo copper pit after rock fall

Hillgrove Resources Ltd. restarted mining at the Kanmantoo copper project in South Australia and said access restrictions on certain parts of the mine have been lifted.

The company reported a rock fall at the project's Giant pit in mid-December 2018 and suspended mining pending further geotechnical assessment.

Hillgrove said Jan. 17 that it restored the section of the wall where the rock fall occurred and modified pit designs to reduce the likelihood of a similar occurrence in the future. The proposed design is expected to reduce future copper production by about 2,000 recovered metal tonnes, which is about 10% of remaining production as of the start of 2019.

The company added that it started work to evaluate alternative underground mining methods to recover the lost copper ore.

Hillgrove continued to operate in other areas of the giant pit throughout the restriction, albeit with reduced productivity and some additional costs. Ore supply to the plant and processing continued at full capacity throughout the period, although stockpiled ore accumulation has fallen below budget.