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Road ‘is priority’

Friday, 28th October, 2011

By Paula Doran

City Council will pursue funding options for a haulage road from the Potosi Mine as a priority, according to Mayor Wincen Cuy.

As Perilya ramps up work to open up Potosi in the east of the city, Council is preparing to apply for Federal funding and will work with the mining company to pursue an alternate trucking route to the south concentrator.

It is hoped that the $8 million project will be jointly funded by state and federal government, Perilya and Council.

“If Perilya wanted to go ahead now, they could use the alternate route from Potosi down Argent Street, onto the Menindee Road and on to Patton Street.  But that’s not something that we want to see happen if we can avoid it,” the mayor said.

“What we want to see is those trucks travelling via a specially built road that goes behind the North Mine, back behind the airport and into their South facility.

“We don’t want to see trucks driving through the main streets of Broken Hill if we can avoid it. 

“I’m still confident there’ll be a positive outcome on this. We want to see the best outcome for the future development of Broken Hill.”

Meanwhile Perilya will drive hard to prepare the Potosi and adjacent Silver Peak mine for production in 2013.

The company estimates they will spend $50 million to $60 million developing the sites.

Andrew Lord, general manager of Perilya Broken Hill, said there were around 50 contractors opening up the portal to the Silver Peak mine which will eventually connect to the Potosi mine.  

“We’re 150 metres in and we need to increase the length of the decline as well as put in ventilation upgrades,” Mr Lord said.

He said the company will eventually extract lead and zinc principally with some silver.

“What makes Potosi economically viable for us is that there is excess capacity in our concentrator at the South mine. If we didn’t have this excess then this project would never go ahead.”

He said once mining begins at Potosi up to 100 people will be hired in addition to those operating in the South.

“We are still in talks with the Broken Hill City Council to establish a by-pass for haulage.

“Looking forwards, if it’s ever economically viable to open up the North mine then it would be preferable to have a road that connects all three sites.

“But we have to have the capital to open up the North mine to access the areas with significant remnant ore. We also need to work out how to get the water out of the mine and work out what to do with it when we do.”

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