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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

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Barminco has won the mining contract for the Mount Colin underground copper operation near Cloncurry as owner Round Oak Minerals brings the new mine online.

Round Oak, formerly CopperChem, expects the mine to employ 70-80 people and have a lifespan of about four years.

Chief executive officer Rob Cooper said the mine portal would be developed into the wall of the Mount Colin open-cut, which was last mined about three and a half years ago.

“There is a about a kilometre of decline development to access the ore body at the first production level,” he said.

“While we’ll access development ore within the first six months, we expect it will be almost 12 months before first stope production and about two years to get the mine to steady state production at a rate of 400,000 tonnes per year.”

The underground project contains an ore reserve of 1.3Mt at an average grade of 2.9 per cent copper and 0.4g/t gold.

Mr Cooper said Round Oak had a toll treatment agreement with Glencore for the ore, which would go to the Ernest Henry operation for processing.

The company is also kicking off a new gold development near Cloncurry, with clearing work starting at its Wallace South site.

Mr Cooper said activity there was expected to ramp up in July.

That operation is expected to create 30-35 jobs on the mining side, as well as about 25 positions at Round Oak’s newly constructed gold processing plant at Cloncurry.

Barminco to mine Mount Colin