Heron Resources Limited, a mining exploration company, has recently provided an update on its Woodlawn Zinc-Copper Project as it inches towards its production milestone.
Through the underground operation, steady progress has been made with 913 m of development that has been concluded so far (see the above figure).
On March 10th, 2019, development reached the shallow G2HW lens and the ore was sent to the process plant ROM pad ready for processing. This development represents the initial underground production from the mine.
Ever since the commencement of underground operations in September 2018, monthly development meterage has gradually increased and is currently surpassing budget levels. The conditions of the ground remain as anticipated with no major adverse regions. In addition, a specialist contractor has currently been established on site to build a raise of 5 m diameter in order to set up the main ventilation for the underground.
The well-advanced hydraulic mining circuit commissioning is set for full-fledged production as soon as the process plant becomes available. Final hand-over of the process plant is ongoing and is anticipated to be completed in the forthcoming months following a final performance test. Under the direction of Paragon Tailings, production readiness, operator training, and ramp-up continue.
A very good level of control has been demonstrated by initial tailing mining to the base of the dam, providing high confidence in attaining (and potentially improving) scheduled material recovery (tonnage) as well as dilution assumptions which reinforce the calculations of Ore Reserve. Furthermore, excellent progress is being made in eliminating a low-grade, thin cap on Tailing Dam South. Heron Resources’ process team identified this cap removal project, which is anticipated to enhance both processing performance as well as recoveries.
Project EPC Works: As already announced (Process Plant Wet Commissioning begins at Woodlawn, March 4th, 2019) Heron Resources is quickly reaching the end of the development process project. Sedgman Pty Ltd, Heron Resources’ EPC contractor and a wholly owned CIMIC Group Limited company, has reported that project commissioning has reached 63% and will be almost completed (98%) towards February end. Due to a reduction in site construction activity, workforce numbers have been increased accordingly. The EPC Contractor staff is developing Woodlawn via the wet commissioning stage, and afterward, ore commissioning, ramp-up, and performance testing will be carried out.
Operational readiness: Recruitment of commissioning and operational staff has been essentially completed by Heron Resources, while contractors are covering a few specialist roles. With the store fit-out along with the receipt of consumables, reagents, and maintenance spares for operation support, supply activities will be shortly completed. Concentrate logistics are ready and the mobile plant is operational. The recently developed site assay laboratory is also operational, and moreover, the water treatment plant is complete and commissioning is in its last phases.
Project Development Schedule: At the beginning of March, Sedgman Pty Ltd informed Heron Resources that the expected date for initial ore to be fed to the process plant will be postponed. After clarifying the extent of the delay, Heron Resources is currently anticipating to initiate the ore processing early in the second quarter with the initial concentrates ready for delivery in the month of May.
Heron has been very committed to delivering on dates at every milestone of the Woodlawn Project development. As announced on March 4 2019, feeding ore through the plant is the only remaining step in commissioning the project and once completed Heron will transition to becoming Australia’s newest producer of base metal concentrates. We are naturally disappointed by this delay to our development timeline and remain committed to reaching our production milestone with our on-site team continuing to prepare for this.
Wayne Taylor, Managing Director, Heron Resources Limited.