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Austral Resources commences blasting at Anthill Mine

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Copper producer Austral Resources Australia Ltd has announced that the first blast at Anthill Mine was fired on 16 November 2021.


  • First blast fired on 16 November 2021, a key development milestone.
  • 110 000 billion m3 of ironstone cover broken over Anthill east pit.
  • Anthill Mine site facilities and haul roads are under construction.
  • Austral is on track to be producing 10 000 tpy of copper cathode for four years from mid 2022.

The first production blast is designed to establish initial mining benches at Anthill East pit – in preparation for bulk earthmoving in January 2022. First ore mining is expected to commence in March/April 2022. Austral is focused on developing its new Anthill Mine and ramping production to 10 000 t of copper cathode by mid 2022 at Mt Kelly, which is scheduled to process 5000 tpd of oxide ore at full production.

Anthill Mine development

The inaugural blast at the Anthill Mine is a key milestone for Austral’s development plans. It is the result of several years of careful planning and design by the Austral team and is a crucial first step towards progressing to 10 000 tpy cathode production by mid 2022.

The maiden blast was attended by Austral Executive Director, Dan Jauncey, site management, Thiess Mining Services, Orica and Roc-Drill, with all parties pleased to witness this key event. Additional blasting is planned through to mid-December 2021, with the aim of having significant overburden material prepared for the commencement of bulk mining in January 2022.

Approval to commence mining at Anthill was received on 25 October 2021 with the first blast achieved within three weeks. The pit areas are being cleared with vegetation and topsoil stockpiled for future mine rehabilitation. Thiess is currently mobilising its fleet whilst clearing continues and site infrastructure is installed.

Steve Tambanis, Austral’s CEO, commented: “We’re delighted to break ground within three weeks of obtaining approval to commence mine development. Employees and contractors have worked tirelessly to achieve this key development milestone – both safely and cost effectively. Site works are proceeding as scheduled with bulk earthmoving planned to commence in January 2022 and first ore deliveries expected in April 2022, weather permitting. Both Anthill Mine development and Mt Kelly plant refurbishment are in full swing.

“Our goal is to achieve planned copper production of 10 000 tpy commencing mid 2022 for a four year period.

“Exploration and development activities are underway with a further update planned over the next month. Historic geological, geochemical and geophysical data is currently being evaluated with several new prospects identified adjacent to the Anthill mine and exploration recruitment being finalised.

“We look forward to updating shareholders as we prepare to commence maiden production. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our employees and contractors for their collective efforts to develop Anthill and Mt Kelly in a safe and timely manner. We look forward to delivering shareholder value over the coming period.”

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Australian mining news Copper mining news