Tag Archives: Granville East

Aus Tin chooses different tack at Taronga Stage 1 project

There are changes afoot at Aus Tin Mining’s Taronga Stage 1 project, in Australia, after the ASX-listed company appointed a contractor for an initial program of mining, crushing and civil works, and made the decision to acquire its own crushing plant.

The company said it had appointed Townes Contracting, a firm with experience in quarrying and crushing operations, to undertake the initial mining, crushing and civil works associated with Taronga Stage 1. Expected to last three months, this contract should provide for site establishment, initial mining of some 50,000 t of ore and waste, crushing of ore and construction of a water dam, Aus Tin said.

Aus Tin’s decision to acquire its own crushing plant, meanwhile, follows a crushing trial completed with a preferred contractor in May. Aus Tin explained: “The company was unable to secure their services in a timeframe consistent with operational requirements.”

The Taronga tin project is the world’s fifth largest undeveloped tin reserve, based on a JORC resource of 57,200 t of contained tin, plus 26,400 t of contained copper and 4.4 Moz of silver, Aus Tin says.

The company completed a prefeasibility study in 2014 that outlined a project treating 2.5 Mt/y of ore, producing an average 2,800 t/y of contained tin over nine years. Following this, in 2015, the company commenced the approvals process to undertake trial mining and pilot processing of 340,000 t of ore to evaluate several areas of potential upside. This project – Taronga Stage 1 – is now fully permitted.

Peter Williams, CEO of Aus Tin, said: “Now that we are no longer constrained in any way by contractors at Granville, we have decided to take a different approach to the operation and believe this will provide the optimal means to exploit this small, but high grade tin deposit.”

Back in March, Aus Tin Mining commenced owner mining at the Granville East tin mine in Australia, just over a week after liquidators were named to its previously appointed mining contractors, Jemrok Pty Ltd.

Aus Tin said the initial programme of work to be carried out by Townes Contracting will provide “several important outcomes”. Included within this is a provisional metal reconciliation, with the average grade of ore mined compared with the respective mining blocks estimated in the 2014 probable reserve; productivity and cost data to optimise pricing for the remainder of Stage 1, and; material for additional metallurgical test work planned prior to the commencement of Stage 1 pilot plant operations.

The remainder of the Stage 1 project, including the expanded mine and pilot plant operations are expected to commence in late 2019.

In terms of the crusher Aus Tin is due to acquire, the company said it had made an initial payment on a second-hand mobile crushing plant, located in Tasmania, and refurbishment of the unit – expected to take three to four weeks – had commenced.

“The key benefits of owner crushing will be a lower operating cost and ability to crush ore on an ongoing basis rather than the campaign basis required for contractors,” Aus Tin said.

AusTin transitions to owner mining at Granville East mine in Tasmania

AusTin Mining has commenced owner mining at the Granville East tin mine in Australia, just over a week after liquidators were named to its previously appointed mining contractors, Jemrok Pty Ltd.

The decision to adopt owner mining as opposed to appointing another contractor was based on minimising disruption to the project by using existing equipment at site and employment of ex-Jemrok employees, the ASX-listed company said.

The company commenced tin mining at the Tasmania operation just last month.

AusTin Mining said: “The company considers owner mining will deliver greater control and improvement in mine productivity following a decline in productivity in early 2019.

“Under the owner mining model, waste mining operations have resumed following a period of lost production attributable to the collapse of Jemrok, and ore mining is expected to resume in the coming fortnight.”

Owner mining operating costs for Granville are estimated at A$100,000-A$130,000 ($70,655-$91,851) per month depending on blasting requirements and are inclusive of equipment rental, fuel and labour. “Owner mining should deliver a lower mining cost based on the removal of the contractor’s margin,” the company said.

Jemrok was previously contracted to also provide crushing and ore-haulage services but the company is now progressing discussions with a third party for these services. In the interim, AusTin has transported the relatively friable hangingwall ore that doesn’t require crushing to the processing plant for treatment.

This has, initially, led to an increase in plant feed grade but has necessitated a change in operating strategy to accommodate the increased level of sulphides associated with this material in order to achieve the targeted concentrate grade of 60% Sn.

“Upon implementation of contract crushing, the company will be able to increase the proportion of competent skarn ore that contains lower sulphide level and historically has been the predominant ore source for the project,” AusTin said.