Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 19 of 91

REGIONAL NEWS - AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA 18 E&MJ • OCTOBER 2018 Nullagine Achieves Production Run-rate Ahead of Schedule Millennium Minerals Ltd.'s Nullagine gold project in the Pilbara region of West- ern Australia is now at running a rate of 100,000 ounces per year (oz/y), the com- pany said. The project has achieved the company's long-held production target well ahead of schedule. Over the past two weeks, daily produc- tion from Nullagine has averaged approx- imately 400 oz/d, including record daily production of 540 oz of gold on August 30. Millennium had expected to achieve an annualized run-rate of 100,000 oz/y in the fourth quarter, however, a strong production performance over the past two weeks has enabled the company to achieve this goal ahead of schedule. The increase in gold production is mainly driven by a higher average head grade as the new Bartons underground and higher grade open-pit ore are brought online, supported by an increased min- ing rate and materially improved mill throughput — all of which are expected to be maintained over the remainder of 2018 and into 2019, the company said. Ore feed at Nullagine is currently still being blended with low-grade ore from the pre-strip of the Golden Eagle deposit, which is now almost completed, indicat- ing that further increases in head grade could yet be achieved. Millennium CEO Peter Cash said the outstanding production performance jus- tified the company's strategy of targeting larger, more sustainable ore sources at Nullagine while also demonstrating the significant impact of introducing higher grade ore to the plant. "We have put in a huge amount of ground-work over the first half of this year to establish these high-grade ore sourc- es, and to have achieved our annualized production target ahead of schedule is a great credit to the team," Cash said. The mining rate at Nullagine has risen from a monthly average of approximate- ly 400,000 bank cubic meters (BCM) for the first six months of 2018, to more than 600,000 BCM over the past two months. This increase has been achieved by em- ploying more efficient mining strategies in its open pits, delivering a strong boost to productivity without the need to employ any additional equipment. The Bartons under- ground development in August increased to more than 400 m with one jumbo drill. Mill throughput has lifted from a month- ly average of 154,000 mt over the first six months to 175,000 mt over the last two months through the implementation of a number of improvement projects including optimization of the SAG mill performance through process control enhancements and changes to mill liner design. Collectively, these enhancements have put the Millennium on-track to achieve its forecast production guidance of 20,000 to 22,000 oz in the third quarter, and 25,000 oz in the fourth quarter. Paroo Station Lead Mine Gets Approval for Expansion LeadFX Inc. received approval from the Western Australian government for the Hydrometallurgical Facility and mine ex- tension at the Paroo Station Lead mine, 30 kilometers (km) west of Wiluna in Western Australia. The proposal involves the construction of a new hydrometallurgical facility and associated infrastructure adjacent to the existing flotation concentrator that is ex- pected to produce approximately 70,000 tons per year (t/y) of lead ingot and in- creasing the mine disturbance area by 400 ha to accommodate a 15-year mine life for the operation. Lead ingot is ex- pected to be trucked from site to port as an item of general freight. Altura Starts Lithium Concentrate Production Altura Mining has started production at its Altura Lithium mine at Pilgangoora, Western Australia and expects to reach design capacity of 220,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of quality 6% Li 2 O spodu- mene concentrate by year-end 2018. Pro- duction from the mine began on July 25, and haulage of concentrate 123 kilome- ters (km) to the Qube storage facility in Port Hedland followed on August 7. Altura is currently considering plans to double concentrate production to 440,000 mt/y to tap into the global demand for elec- tric vehicle and static storage batteries. The Pilgangoora deposit is mined by open-pit methods. Mine life at current operating rates is forecast at 20 years. Concentrate is exported by ship from Port Hedland to Altura's lithium alliance part- ners, OptimumNano and Lionergy, in Chi- na, for further processing into a wide range of lithium chemicals. An official mine opening ceremony was held at the mine on September 5, with Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston, state and local government representatives, traditional land owners, Altura employees, contrac- tors, suppliers, financers and investors. An LHD enters the portal at the new Bartons underground mine in Western Australia.

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