Development of the underground decline at Hillgrove’s Kanmantoo project has started with the world’s first portal cut using a transformational continuous mining technology.

What separates Komatsu’s continuous mining technology from traditional drill and blast techniques is the removal of the need for blasting, which has the potential to increase safety and operational performance.

Hillgrove Resources (ASX:HGO) adds that the Komatsu MC51 is 100% electrically powered, which makes the technology being pioneered at its copper project a crucial step towards zero emissions mining.

“The development of the underground decline and establishment of underground drilling platforms is a key milestone in the Kanmantoo Underground development program – with the underground drill platforms accelerating and reducing the cost of the upcoming drilling program, and the decline bringing forward the potential restart of copper production and further reducing what is already a low-cost mine development,” managing director Lachlan Wallace said.

“We are also excited to advance the mine development in a way that leads the industry towards zero-emission mining, which is without question the way of the future.”


Mine decline

The company secured a $2m grant from the South Australian government and favourable payment terms from Komatsu, which sees no payments until funding for the mine development is secured.

This allows Hillgrove to focus on its drilling program.

Underground mining at Kanmantoo is seen as being a restart of operations using a different mining method, allowing Hillgrove to benefit 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.

The project had produced 137,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate from a series of open pits between 2011 and 2020.

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.