Run of the mill
Thursday, 19th April, 2012
CBH infrastructure commissioning days away
By Paula Doran
Broken Hill’s newest mine will begin the integral commissioning process of key infrastructure within days.
Despite a last minute hitch with a water pump, which has delayed the launch of CBH Resource’s Rasp Mine mill by a few days, chief operating officer Visko Sulicich told local media the decade-long journey to commissioning would soon be complete.
CBH bought the disused lease over the central part of the Line of Lode, (around 3.8 kilometres worth) in 2001.
What began as a determined board of experts, including Professor Ian Plimer and Bob Besley earnestly looking for what previous miners had left behind on the lease, rapidly culminated in feverish activity in the heart of Broken Hill in the past two years, during a challenging production period to bring all seven of the company’s major projects on top and underneath the Line of Lode into action.
The lead, silver and zinc mine is expected to have a life of 15 years, and comes complete with its own railway connection and state of the art $75 million processing plant.
Estimates suggest 160 to 180 jobs (including contract staff) will be created during mine production, and those numbers have already built steadily.
When the BDT visited the lease in December last year, the company had already begun stockpiling ore so that they had plenty in store for this month’s commissioning.
Full production is aimed to be up and running by June this year.
Professor Plimer, who now acts as an advisor to the owners, Japan’s CBH Resources, says the reason companies like this were still able to find anything was because the area had been relatively unexplored.
“On this lease here for 60 years there was no geologist because they didn’t need one. That’s left massive opportunities,” he said.
“What we’ve done is combined history with modern geology and, bingo, we’ve got a mine with more than 100 jobs that will be here for more than 15 years.”
Professor Plimer said he was “absolutely ecstatic” that a project which had experienced so many setbacks in its 12 year history was about to come into fruition.
“It’s taken absolute fortitude at times to keep this moving. We’ve overcome massive fundraising challenges, the global financial crisis, and other moments along the way, and here it’s about to happen.
“This mill is best practice, it is simplicity, and it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Broken Hill,” said Professor Plimer.