Mining is due to start in early March at Round Oak Minerals’ Barbara copper-gold project, about 60km north-east of Mount Isa.
Chief executive officer Rob Cooper said the company had selected a preferred tenderer for contract mining at the site and the new operation’s general manager, Dean Pointon, started work last week.
Ore from the project will be processed at Glencore’s Mount Isa copper operations.
“We expect to produce the first ore (from Barbara) mid-year and first treatment of the ore is expected in September,” Mr Cooper said.
The operation will employ about 40-45 people, and recruitment for technical staff is under way. It has an expected mine life of about two years.
Mr Cooper said the workforce would be bussed from Mount Isa, as is the case with the company’s Mt Colin operation.
Barminco is continuing to advance the decline for at the Mt Colin copper project, with first ore production expected in February.
“They are ahead of budget with the underground development and are currently at a depth of almost 200m, but we may push first ore back a month or two because we are considering going down to another level before starting production,” Mr Cooper said.
“We’ve also had a good exploration drill hole intercept down deep, 50m below the previously deepest hole, that has encouraged us to think that we might extend the depth of the resource and extend the life of Mt Colin beyond four years.”
The Mt Colin mine is expected to employ about 70-75 people when fully operational, with ore to be processed at Glencore’s Ernest Henry operations.
Mr Cooper said activity at the site currently includes a raise bore, which had just finished the pilot hole for the new mine’s ventilation shaft.
Meanwhile Round Oak in December achieved its first gold pour from the Wallace South project near Cloncurry.
This followed commissioning of the company’s new gold processing facilities in Cloncurry in the latter half of 2018.
Wallace South is expected to produce 30,000-35,000 ounces of gold in 2019.