Hillgrove Resources Ramps Up Production As Copper Hits Two-Year High

Hillgrove Resources Ltd is continuing to ramp up production at its Kanmantoo underground mine as copper hit US$10,000 a tonne for the first time in two years.

The production at the South Australian mine has increased to 719 tonnes in April (up from 239 tonnes in February and 589 tonnes in March).

Recovery rates to improve

Hillgrove CEO and Managing Director Lachlan Wallace said: “The performance of the processing plant has shown marked improvement with each campaign, meeting planned recovery rates particularly in the latter stages of the April campaign as the on-stream analyser was brought online.

 “Additionally, the upcoming commissioning of the regrind mill is expected to further enhance the recovery rates.”

Demand-supply gap

Millions of tonnes of new copper supply will be needed in coming years to fuel the expansion of electric vehicles, renewable energy and vast power grid upgrades.

However, discovering and developing new major mines is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive.

BHP Group Ltd’s (ASX:BHP) bid for Anglo American Plc last week highlights that many miners would prefer to buy rivals than invest in entirely new projects.

Record A$ copper prices

Analysts say copper would need to reach US$12,000 a tonne to spur large-scale investments in new mines and stave off future deficits.

Copper futures gained as much as 1.7% to US$10,033.50 on the LME on Friday, its highest level since April 2022.

Wallace noted that the mining rate at Kanmantoo has accelerated, with multiple stopes now being mined simultaneously and ore being stockpiled for the upcoming May mill campaign.

“This increased efficiency in production couldn’t come at a better time, as it allows us to take full advantage of the current record Australian Dollar copper prices,” added Wallace.

 

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