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Going for gold

Monday, 23rd March, 2015

Steve Radford (centre) with the first of the twelve 100-tonne dump trucks that Consolidated Mining and Civil is sending up to the Portia gold mine. Mr Radford is shown with long-time CMC employees Mark Sanford (left) and Colin (Sooty) Howell who transported the trucks to Portia yesterday. Steve Radford (centre) with the first of the twelve 100-tonne dump trucks that Consolidated Mining and Civil is sending up to the Portia gold mine. Mr Radford is shown with long-time CMC employees Mark Sanford (left) and Colin (Sooty) Howell who transported the trucks to Portia yesterday.

By Craig Brealey

Not long now and these blokes will be “swinging dirt” at the new gold mine north-west of the city.

For the last six weeks Broken Hill company Consolidated Mining and Civil (CMC) has busy been setting up the mine site, about 120 kilometres from town in South Australia, for Havilah Resources and now it’s ready to go.

In that time, CMC has constructed 35 kilometres of road, equipped water bores and dams, and built a fully-serviced camp for the mine workers.

“We’ve been punching pretty hard,” CMC’s boss Steve Radford told the BDT yesterday.

“Last week we transported the first of our 250-tonne excavators to the site.

“The 52-man camp was finished on Saturday and we’ve got 26 people in there now.

“There’s air-conditioned en-suited rooms, a reticulated water service and the sewage system has been commissioned. 

“An RO (reverse osmosis) plant to supply potable drinking water to the camp will be installed and commissioned by the end of the week.

“A communications tower will be installed (today) and commissioned on Wednesday.

“We’re still very much on target to be swinging dirt by the end of the month. On Monday the 30th we’ll start mining. We are on time and on budget.

CMC was established more than 100 years ago by the Radford family and it is now the biggest employer in the Western Division of NSW with 520-odd workers, 780 pieces of machinery and four aircraft.

The company has long been involved in the Ginkgo & Snapper mineral sands mines near Pooncarie where CMC’s plant and equipment move about 2.2 million cubic metres of overburden every 20 days, and Mr Radford said that some of the surplus plant at Snapper will be moved to Portia for the job ahead.

Once mining at Portia is finished, Havilah intends to move on to a much larger gold and copper deposit about 30km to the west.

“We are very excited to be part of the Portia project and working with Havilah, which is a good company to work with,” Mr Radford said.

“This is the tip of the iceberg of what can happen with Havilah. It is good for the Broken Hill community, with the job opportunities, and good for the future.

“We’ve got 12 million tonnes of dirt to move just to get to the orebody,” he said.

“We’re still on budget to be on top of it and mining the ore by July 2016.

“That’s when we’ll start following the rainbow to the pot of gold.”

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