Red River Resources has commenced production at its Hillgrove gold operation in New South Wales, Australia, and is now ramping up to the plant’s 250,000 t/y capacity.
Gold processing follows the delivery of first ore to the Hillgrove run of mine pad on December 23 from Bakers Creek stockpile mining and trucking activities. This ore was processed by the plant on December 29.
Hillgrove, about 30 km from Armidale in New South Wales, is a past producing mine that was placed on care and maintenance in 2016 due to low prevailing antimony prices.
Prior to recommencement of mining, Hillgrove produced more than 730,000 oz of gold (in bullion and concentrates), more than 50,000 t of antimony (as metal and in concentrates), plus material amounts of by-product tungsten (in concentrates).
It has a JORC 2012 resource of 5 Mt at 4.3 g/t Au and 1.5% Sb for 692,000 oz of gold and 75,000 t of antimony. This resource is contained within six key hubs in the Hillgrove Mineral Field, with Bakers Creek being both the largest gold production centre in the field and having the deepest workings.
The Hillgrove site includes a 250,000 t/y processing plant, which comprises a selective flotation circuit (capable of producing antimony-gold and refractory gold concentrates), an antimony leach/EW/refining and casting plant, a gold cyanide leach circuit and gold room, plus a pressure oxidation circuit.
The site also has a high-density polyethylene lined tailings storage facility, which was constructed in 2006 and has about two years of production storage capacity.
All of Hillgrove’s electricity requirements are sourced from a 66 kVa grid-connected power supply from Ergon Energy with 11 kVa site power reticulation. Water is sourced from storage dams and underground workings.
Hillgrove has all the office facilities required for operations, including an administration office, mining operations offices, maintenance offices, workshops (heavy vehicle, light vehicle and boilermaker’s workshops), process plant offices, metallurgical laboratory building and first aid building, the company says.