Miners reach gold ahead of schedule
Thursday, 17th March, 2016
By Darrin Manuel
After months of clearing away the top soil at the Portia gold mine, mining crews are finally digging into the good stuff.
Portia mine partners Havilah Resources and Consolidated Mining and Civil (CMC) extracted the first load of gold ore this week from Portia, which is about 120km north-west of Broken Hill.
The companies had hoped to reach the gold ore by July 1, however a re-evaluation of the mine revealed a chance to access the ore earlier by digging a sub-pit in the main open cut.
A revised date of April 1 was then set, but that target was reached early when excavators hit the gold ore on Sunday.
Havilah’s Managing Director, Chris Giles, said the breakthrough was a pleasing result for everyone involved.
“We’re three-and-a-half months ahead of schedule. Here it is in March and we’re already digging it up,” he said.
“We’re pretty optimistic, (CMC) is happy, and the geologists are happy that everything is where it should be.
“Everything is in place as predicted... It’s all going according to plan so far.”
The rich ore is now being stockpiled on the surface and will be fed into the processing plant when it becomes fully operational next month.
The project’s progress has also attracted interest outside of Broken Hill, with Mr Giles recently invited to speak at the Melbourne Mining Club’s ‘Cutting Edge’ event.
“We had 200 people there and they were all interested.
“Everyone is keen to hear a good gold story and we got a very positive response from a lot of people.”
In the future Havilah and CMC hope to develop copper-gold projects at North Portia and nearby Kalkaroo, with the projects expected to have a combined life of around 15 years.