Komatsu can do at Kanmantoo copper mine

03 Dec 2021

The Kanmantoo copper and gold mine in the Adelaide Hills is set to reopen in 2022 delivering 170 new jobs to the region whilst massively reducing emissions as a result of the successful use of revolutionary disruptive mining technology at the mine.

“Hillgrove Resources’ decision to reopen the Kanmantoo copper and gold mine will deliver another boost for South Australia’s surging economy and our reputation as international leaders in the adoption of cutting-edge renewable technology,” said Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

Hillgrove Resources’ trial of the Komatsu “MC51 continuous miner” is the largest of its type in Australia. The machine uses DynaCut mechanical cutting technology rather than conventional drilling and blasting for mine development. The Komatsu MC51 allows for continuous hard rock excavation and eliminates operational delays from blasting making the technology safer, faster and more cost effective.

A $2 million grant from the Marshall Government has facilitated the use of the MC51 for underground mining at Kanmantoo mine, bringing the mine’s potential opening forward.

Crucially, being fully powered by electricity, the continuous mining machine is an enabler for green copper production and low emission mining as South Australia moves to net 100% renewable energy generation by 2030.

Hillgrove Resources CEO, Lachlan Wallace, said:

“It’s a hugely exciting moment for Hillgrove. We have had excellent drilling results this year – the copper mineralisation extends at least 500m below the base of the open pit and remains open at depth. Crucially, we also have the established infrastructure in place to utilise this opportunity and begin extraction in 2022. This trial, funded through a Government of South Australia grant, further accelerates this process.”

“We are also proud of the steps we are taking to develop innovative approaches to ultra-efficient mining and the drastic reduction of emissions. The successful MC51 trial at our operations at Kanmantoo is clear proof of our Australian and global leadership position in this respect.”

Member for Hammond, Adrian Pederick welcomed the next stage of mining at Kanmantoo that will bring employment and other benefits to the local area.

“This $2 million investment by the Marshall Liberal Government is part of some $200 million invested in Hammond since March 2018,” said Adrian Pederick.

Hillgrove is at the forefront of the drive towards emissions free mining in Australia and is exploring further site electrification opportunities, such as haulage, as the company prepares for the commencement of underground operations.

The MC51 has already created a portal towards the base of Hillgrove’s completed open pit mine and will develop a 500m underground decline and a number of underground drill platforms to continue to explore the copper-gold mineralisation. Post the trial, the underground decline will serve as the mine access from which the copper-gold lodes and be accessed and extracted.

The new underground mining technology has been developed in Australia by Komatsu Limited (“Komatsu”), a global manufacturer and distributor of earthmoving and mining equipment. The Komatsu MC51 continuous mining machine utilises Komatsu’s DynaCut mechanical cutting technology.

About Hillgrove Resources

Hillgrove Resources Limited (ASX: HGO) is an ASX listed Australian resources company that owns and operates the Kanmantoo Copper Gold Mine in South Australia.

The company has operated in South Australia for 18 years and has developed strong operating experience and award-winning positive stakeholder engagement.

Hillgrove Resources mined a series of open pits at Kanmantoo from 2011 to 2020, producing 137,000 tonnes of copper and 55,000 oz of gold. The Kanmantoo underground is on track to start production in 2022 for relatively low capital investment due to the existing infrastructure already in place.