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News

Red River Resources has released an updated ore reserve and mineral resource assessment of a major deposit giving a longer life to the operation.

Thalanga’s maiden deposit given more life

The West 45 is the first deposit to be mined by Red River at Thalanga as part of restart operations at the project. Underground mining commenced at West 45 in April 2017, with zinc concentrate production restarting ahead of schedule at Thalanga in September 2017 .

West 45 has an updated ore reserve estimate of 0.6Mt @ 11.6 % zinc equivalent, up from the previous estimate of 0.4Mt @ 15.0% zinc equivalent.

The updated Ore Reserve will allow Red River to extend mining operations at West 45 to at least the end of 2019, enabling the simultaneous operation of both the West 45 and Far West mines from the end of 2018 to 2019, increasing mill throughput for this period.

Following the 21 November 2017 announcement of a maiden Ore Reserve at Thalanga Far West, the updated West 45 Ore Reserve has increased the total Thalanga Operations Ore Reserve to 2.1 Mt @ 11.9 % zinc equivalent.

Increasing Ore Reserves at West 45 combined with the recently announced maiden Ore Reserve at Far West is an outstanding result for the future of Red River , with the potential for further mine life extensions at depth and along strike, said Red River’s Managing Director Mel Palancian.

“We  are committed to growing resources and reserves at Thalanga and this confirms that our strategy is delivering results and mine life,” Mr Palancian said.

“The West 45 mine life will now extend to at least 2019 allowing the simultaneous operation of both West 45 and the Far West mines in 2019 , increasing mill throughput for this period.

“With exploration across our landholding in the Mt Windsor Belt in Queensland continuing in tandem to our mining operations, we hope to make new discoveries that can add further life to Thalanga.”

The Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource estimate was completed in acco rdance with the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code).

‘Fill the mill’ is the focus for Red River Resources as it moves into 2018 as a producing miner.

The mill quickly ramped up to an annualised processing rate of 325ktpa after production began in September, however the company has its eye on taking the plant to its nameplate capacity of more than 650ktpa.

Push to fill processing potential

The company had four drill rigs from Charters Towers-based contractor Lloyd Weller Drilling working across its Thalanga assets in November, expanding known resources and furthering exploration at Red River’s Liontown East discovery.

Managing director Mel Palancian said Red River Resources had a planned sequence for mining – starting with the West 45 underground mine and progressing to the Far West and Waterloo sites.

“We’ve been drilling West 45 and finding more resources there, so we are currently in the process of updating the resources and reserves for West 45 and have just announced an updated mineral resource and a maiden ore reserve for Far West,” Mr Palancian said.

“We’ve got a drill rig at Waterloo, which will be our third mine, and are conducting infill drilling there. That will move to an extensional drilling program there – so hopefully we’ll fi nd more resources.

There is also hope for new discoveries around Thalanga to further extend the current life-of-mine forecast of five years.

“There are a lot of targets there,” Mr Palancian said.

“The belt hasn’t been explored for 20 years. Getting cashflow helps us to accelerate that and hopefully we will find many more ore bodies.”

General manager of operations Karl Spaleck believes mill capacity could be pushed out beyond 650tpa with improvements.

He also takes a positive outlook on the potential to draw that feed from the immediate area and build a 20-year mine life around the processing plant.

“I think potential is outstanding around here – this place is underexplored,” Mr Spaleck said.

Mr Palancian said that Red River Resources would also be on a lookout for further opportunities in base metals.

“In the fullness of time we would like to grow the business by adding another operation, but right here right now we are wholeheartedly focused on Thalanga and maximising the value of Thalanga,” he said
Seminars are being held in Queensland centres to brief businesses who want to test their eligibility as suppliers to the Australia Defence Force.

Townsville is the first off the block in February.

Test the opportunities to do business with the ADF

The seminars are designed to provide businesses with an introduction to working in the defence sector, discover what businesses need to know in order to deal directly with defence or access prime contractor supply chains.

They’re being presented by Mick Fairweather an independent director in Queensland, a business management and training consultant, a Major General in the Australian Army Reserve and currently working with the defence industry.

Defence Industries Queensland in partnership with ICN is making the offer.

You will learn:
  • How the defence sector works
  • What the difference between capability and non-material procurement means for suppliers
  • How key agencies in the defence sector engage with industry and what they do
  • How to engage with prime contractors and defence
  • Where you can go to develop your business’ capabilities to work in defence
  • How to decide if the defence industry is for you?
Places are limited so book early to reserve your seat for the following sessions:

The much anticipated start to gold production at the Lorena site west of Cloncurry is scheduled for January.

There have been delays commissioning the plant due to wet weather in central Queensland hampering deliveries of plant equipment.

New NQ gold operation starts next month

The joint venture partners resolved to defer ore processing until January 2018 to ensure continuity of production in due course rather than start/stop over the Christmas and New Year period the company said in a statement.

There were currently no issues with the commissioning of the concentrator plant or the construction of the tailings dam,” the company said.

“Mining is ongoing as initially planned and as a result additional ore will be available at the ROM pad for initial treatment once production commences.

The joint venture partners now consider that first gold production will be achievable by the latter part of January 2018.”

It is expected that the Lorena Gold Project will produce around 30,000 to 35,000 ozs of recovered gold in the eighteen months of production from an open cut operation at a forecast operating cost of around A$1000 per gold ounce (includes Malachite’s share of plant and preliminary project capital ).

Malachite will have a 55% joint venture interest in the Lorena Gold Project upon the commissioning of the processing plant.

Malachite believes that the Lorena Gold Project has potential for resource extensions at depth.

Proving up these additional resources will require confirmation by drilling which Malachite proposes to undertake at the earliest opportunity subject to sufficient funding being available.

Malachite will have a 70 per cent joint venture interest in any resource extensions at depth.

The company also believes that there are considerable regional opportunities which it will be able to pursue once the plant is operating to enhance the commercial return from project.





Tin was the best-performing London Metals Exchange metal in 2016, but prices performed in a choppy fashion in 2017. 

That’s not stopping investment by Consolidated Tin in far north Queensland.

NQ development kicks on after a bumpy 2017

Most metals rallied in the second half of the year, and although tin reached high levels it could not sustain the $20,000-per-tonne-mark for too long.

Gains were limited by warehouse stocks and China’s influence cannot be understated. Read more here.

Consolidated Tin Mines continues to ramp up its exploration and mining activities in the Mount Garnet and Einasleigh areas.

The company is advising that Stage 3 drilling at the Mt Garnet Deeps project is underway with two of the planned five drill holes completed to date.

The drilling program focuses on the upper area of the Mt Garnet Deeps mineralisation.

Stage 2 drilling was successful in defining a broad envelope of mineralisation which remains open at depth and to the south.

The Stage 2 drilling provided significant intercepts of economic grade and confirmed a contiguous curtain of mineralisation in what is described as the footwall position within the host skarn lithological envelope.

The Jasmac mineralisation currently spans a strike length of over 200m to a depth of approximately 200m.

The company restarted production at its Mount Garnet zinc mine mid-2017.
In almost 25 years in the mining industry, Pierre Malan admits getting the Dugald River mine ready for production has been among the most challenging, but also satisfying, tasks he has faced.

The 44-year-old South African-born mining engineer has been MMG’s general manager project delivery at the mine since 2015, overseeing up to 100 MMG employees and 450 contractors in a long journey which will see the first shipment of zinc concentrate leave the port of Townsville by the end of this year.

Tributes to Dugald River team

Splitting his time between MMG’s Melbourne headquarters and the mine, 65km north-west of Cloncurry, Mr Malan has had the sometimes daunting task of leading the project team from inception in establishing a fully fledged zinc operation.

“It has certainly been an interesting role,” said Mr Malan, who entered the mining industry after graduating with a degree in mining engineering from the University of Pretoria in 1994.

“Essentially, my role has been to oversee the construction team and operations team to build an operation that will eventually mine and process 1.7Mtpa zinc ore through underground mining and export about 450,000 tonnes of concentrate through Townsville.

“Among the key challenges have been aligning the operations and construction teams, reducing capital costs during the construction phase and improving the project’s value at a time when the zinc price was well below the long-term projected price.”

Mr Malan is particularly proud of the effort put in by everyone associated with the project to reduce costs during a period when the price of zinc gave little long-term cause for optimism.

“In January 2016 the price of zinc was around 66c per pound and we needed loan fi nance to get the project up and running,” he recalls.

““We worked extremely hard to reduce capital costs, to the extent that as of today we anticipate a total project cost of between $US550 and $US570 million (for development completed from August 2015), well down on a projected cost of about $US750 million in 2015.

“That was made possible only because we had very good people working very hard on the project.”

As for the future, the married father of two has much more to achieve at Dugald River and hopes to continue working for an organisation he believes will only get bigger.

“I’m always looking at ways we can improve the way we do things at Dugald River, so that’s a big focus,” Mr Malan said.

“As for the future, I’ve hopefully got another 20 years of work left and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with MMG.

“It’s a growing company with big ambition and what my role is in its growth remains to be seen.”