Artemis Resources Ltd has signed an agreement with Riverfort Global Capital Ltd (Riverfort) for an 18-month funding package worth US$4.5 million (AUS$6 million) to assist with the refurbishment of the Radio Hill processing plant in Western Australia, which is currently underway.
Artemis successfully partnered with Riverfort in a similar manner earlier this year to fund the acquisition of the Radio Hill plant and associated tenement package and extensive JORC compliant Nickel, Copper and Zinc assets that exist within the Radio Hill asset base.
The Radio Hill mine and processing plant and infrastructure was purchased by Artemis with the aim of providing the company with regional processing capability, that can be used to process a range of ores from the company’s own projects in the West Pilbara region.
The company and its contractors are working towards having the plant fully operational as a combined base metals and gold processing facility by the end of June 2018.
The existing Radio Hill plant, which has a nominal capacity of around 500 000 tpa was historically used to process Nickel/Copper/Cobalt ores from the Radio Hill underground decline mine, which has been kept on care and maintenance since it was shut down 9 years ago. The plant consists of a two-stage crushing circuit, primary and secondary grinding mills, two discrete multi-stage flotation circuits, separate concentrate filtration plants and a tailings thickener. A plant laboratory and fully equipped workshops have been maintained on-site.
The upgraded plant will have a new Gekko gold recovery plant installed. This gold circuit will include a comprehensive 2-stage gravity gold plant with a nominal capacity of 70 – 100 tph.
These stages are specifically designed to target all available gravity gold from very fine gold (30 – 50 μm) all the way up to coarse nuggets of more than 4 mm in size (up to 20 mm). The circuit will be integrated with the existing crushing and grinding areas.
Radio Hill Re-Start Plans
The Radio Hill plant has approximately 250 000 t of stockpiled material available in the form of oversize, mill rejects, oxidised massive and semi-massive Run of Mine (ROM) material and copper supergene tailings from West Whundo copper supergene processing. This material has the advantage of being pre-mined and sitting on the ROM pad near the feed point to the plant. These stockpiles can simply be contract crushed and processed, resulting in a low operating cost as the material has no mining costs.
The company is now in the process of sampling all of the available stockpiles on the ROM pad for their nickel, copper and cobalt grades. The results of this sampling programme are expected to be available in January 2018.
Current metal commodity prices have improved to:
- ?Nickel - US$10 790/t (AUS$14 361/t)
- ?Copper - US$6530/t (AUS$8691/t)
- ?Cobalt - US$69 500/t (AUS$92 504/t)
(Prices are LME spot cash bid prices dated 8 December 2017)
Work has also commenced on assessing the potential for open pitting the top of the semi-massive and disseminated nickel/copper/cobalt part of the Radio Hill ore body where it outcrops near to surface to find additional processing plant feed.
Executive Chairman of Artemis Resources, David Lenigas, said: “Artemis is now working hard towards getting the Radio Hill Plant being fully operational by July 2018, and the surface stockpiles on the ROM pad will give us a great jump-start into rapid cobalt production. Radio Hill was always mined as an underground operation and we are now looking at the potential to start an open pit mining operation where the deposit comes to surface. This plant feed will be used for commissioning feed material whilst we complete our resource work on Carlow Castle, Silica Hills and conglomerate gold projects.”