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Metals X Suspends Operations at Nifty Copper Mine

Mining News - Published on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

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Metals X Limited said that, after completing the operational review of its Nifty Copper Operations that was announced on 15 November 2019, the board has decided to immediately suspend mining activities. Ore stocks will be processed during the course of the coming week, with the mine, processing facilities and infrastructure then placed on care and maintenance. Metals X MD Mr Damien Marantelli said “This was a very difficult decision for the Company. The people employed and contracting at Nifty and in Perth have worked incredibly hard. The Company has also invested significant resources into improving productivity at the mine. Unfortunately, despite this, the operation is not where it was expected to be at this stage of the Reset Plan and following the operational review; the increased uncertainty in the plan leaves us with no viable alternative. ”

The decision on Nifty will allow the Company to focus on its 50% joint venture stake in the world class, longlife Renison Tin Operations in Tasmania, Australia’s largest tin producer.

Oxide copper was first discovered at Nifty in 1981 by WMC Limited. Drilling of the oxide resource ultimately led to the discovery of the deep sulphide resource in 1983. WMC commenced an open pit, heap leach, SX-EW operation on the relatively high grade part of the oxide mineralisation in 1993. In 1998, the Nifty operation was purchased by Straits Resources Limited, from which Aditya Birla Minerals acquired the operation and surrounding exploration tenements in March 2003. Underground development was commenced in January 2004 to exploit the sulphide resource via an exploration decline from the open pit. First sulphide ore was intersected in February 2005. Construction of the concentrator commenced in October 2004, with first concentrate being produced in March 2006. The open pit operation exploited oxide, transitional and chalcocite mineral resources from which copper cathode was recovered via a heap leach and SX-EW method. Open pit mining operations ceased in June 2006 and heap leaching operations ceased in January 2009. Underground mining is currently carried out using open stoping methods and backfill. This is a bulk mining method where stopes 25m wide, 25 to 50m long and 40 to 60m high are drilled and blasted and copper ore is loaded and hauled into to an underground crusher and conveying system. The conveying system transports the copper ore to the surface for processing by conventional flotation techniques. Copper in concentrate is trucked to Port Hedland and then shipped for smelting and refining.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 28 Nov 2019
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