Hillgrove is poised to start a major drill program targeting extensions to known lodes at its Kanmantoo copper project following the arrival of the first rig.

Drilling to test extensions to the Nugent, SW Kavanagh, Spitfire and North Kavanagh lodes will begin within days to increase the resource base ahead of the planned start of underground mining in 2022.

This program is expected to accelerate after two additional rigs arrive shortly after drilling has started.

Hillgrove Resources (ASX:HGO) managing director Lachlan Wallace said the company was happy to secure three rigs at a time when copper prices are at record highs both in US and Australian dollar terms.

“Drilling will focus on the lode extensions below the Nugent Pit initially, with a view to bring this area into the initial mine plan, which provides the opportunity to create an additional work area to increase annual production potential,” he explained.

“In turn, higher productivity increases utilisation of the hungry processing plant at Kanmantoo, which is expected to add further value to what is already a very robust project.”

The accelerated exploration program was made possible by the recent $10m placement.


Drill program and Kanmantoo

Besides increasing resources by targeting lodes that are still open, the drill program will also increase the number of potential working areas.

This could increase the annual copper production opportunity, providing additional project value through more efficient utilisation of the existing processing capacity at Kanmantoo.

Underground mining at Kanmantoo is essentially restarting production at a mine that had previously produced 137,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate from a series of open pits between 2011 and 2020.

It benefits from a fully-permitted site, strong community support, and having all required infrastructure – including a 3.5 million tonne per annum process facility – already in place.

This article was developed in collaboration with Hillgrove Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.