DATE: Thursday 30th August 2001, 5.30pm for 6pm
VENUE: Rugby Club, Rugby Place, Circular Quay
TOPIC: “REVITALISATION OF CENTRAL BROKEN HILL”
Consolidated Broken Hill Ltd is planning to re-open mining operations on the lease covering the central 3.8 kilometres of the Broken Hill lead-zinc-silver deposit and has identified a range of lode structures for drill testing.
The Company acquired title (CML 7) from Normandy Mining Ltd in March this year and has completed a two stage plan for production from the Western Mineralisation, an unmined lode parallel to the main orebody.
Underground mining ceased on CML 7 in 1976 at a time when cost structures were high and mining was based on square set stopes, underground rail transport and shaft haulage resulting in cut off grades exceeding 15% combined lead and zinc. CBH’s plan is for decline access to the Western Mineralisation from the base of an open cut using mechanised mining methods to achieve a cut off grade of around 6% lead plus zinc. Heavy media separation, not previously applied at Broken Hill has been successfully tested on the ore and a heavy media plant is planned to be located in the open cut with the upgraded output to be treated at the Pasminco concentrator.
In May this year CBH completed a drilling programme at the southern end of the lease that intersected high grade zinc lodes. These lodes have been extensively mined on the adjacent Pasminco leases to the south (the old Zinc Corp and NBHC Operations) but only the lead lodes have been mined on CML 7. The recent drilling results confirm the zinc lodes continue into CML 7 and provide the opportunity for a second new development.
Development of CML 7 is a true brownfields operation with extensive infrastructure in place resulting in a very low capital cost entry to production. Analysis of the very large data base generated by over 100 years of mining activity is continuing to highlight production opportunities.
The recent announcement by Pasminco that it will sell its Broken Hill operation raises the issue of the potential for integration of new developments with existing operations.
Robert Besley is Managing Director of Consolidated Broken Hill Ltd and was responsible for forming the company as Redfire Resources in 1989. He holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Adelaide and has more than 30 years experience in the minerals industry in Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, Australia and the Pacific Rim.
He spent 13 years with Union Oil Company, 7 of these as Manager of Minerals for Australia and the Pacific. Mr Besley was General Manager of Australmin Holdings Ltd when that company developed a mineral sand project in eastern Australia and a gold mine in Western Australia.
He is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy as well as the American Institute of Mining Engineers and is a member of the Society of Economic Geologists.