The Abra base metals project in Western Australia is racing forward to first production in 2023 after the project owners signed off a positive final investment decision (FID) for the mine’s development.
The FID was made following the satisfaction of key conditions to draw in excess of $30 million under a debt facility.
As of May 31, 2021, the project is 17% complete, with completed works including: construction and commissioning of a 280-unit mine site village; mining of the box cut (pictured); box cut ground support works; installation of site communications; and various site clearing, roadworks and civil works.
“As a result, Abra is largely prepared for the deployment of key contractors for the construction of the plant and auxiliary infrastructure, and deployment of the underground mining contractor,” Galena Mining, the 77.28% owner of the project, said.
Among the key contractors at Abra is GR Engineering Services, which is set to deliver a 1.2 Mt/y lead sulphide flotation process plant and ancillary infrastructure under a A$75 million ($58 million) guaranteed maximum price arrangement. The underground mining services contract has been awarded to a tier one Australian mining contractor, Galena said without naming the contract recipient.
“Under the current project schedule, procurement of certain long-lead items will take place immediately,” Galena said. “The underground mining contractor is expected to initiate the portal and decline development in the third (September) quarter of 2021 calendar year and physical on-site plant construction is expected to commence in the fourth (December) quarter of 2021 calendar year.”
Related to the decision to move ahead with development, Galena said it was appointing Anthony James as Managing Director of the company, a mining engineer with senior underground operational and development experience. He will replace current MD Alex Molyneaux who will remain a director of the company.
This definitive feasibility study outlined development of a mine and processing facility with a 16-year life producing a high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate containing around 95,000 t/y of lead and 805,000 oz/y of silver after ramp-up.