Mining contractor Barminco is well advanced in developing the decline for the new Mount Colin underground copper operation near Cloncurry.
Owner Round Oak Minerals, formerly CopperChem, expects the mine to employ 70-80 people and have a lifespan of at least four years.
Chief executive officer Rob Cooper said the decline had advanced about 180m in late August and was still a few months away from ore body development.
Mining activities also started in July at Round Oak’s new Wallace South gold development near Cloncurry. That operation has created 30-35 jobs on the mining side, as well as about 25 positions at Round Oak’s new gold processing facilities at Cloncurry.
“We will start mining ore from Wallace South in September and ore will start being hauled back to the Cloncurry plant in October,” Mr Cooper said.
Commissioning of the new gold processing facilities commenced in August.
The plant is being put through its paces with stockpiled material Round Oak purchased from Ausmex’s Mount Freda project 39km south-east of Cloncurry.
“We bought some low-grade stockpiles located at Mt Freda and we are using that as commissioning feed for the plant,” Mr Cooper said.
The Wallace gold operation will draw on a cluster of small gold assets in the Cloncurry region.
“We have about two years of production at the moment planned from Wallace South and Wynberg mines, with a pipeline of other projects to follow,” Mr Cooper said. “The idea is to sure up these other projects over time to extend the operation’s life.”