Controversial Moreton Resources silver mine is back in production
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The controversial Moreton Resources Granite Belt project — previously the focus of contamination fears — is back in production.
Granite Belt has been sitting idle since 2014 when it was abandoned after the failure of its last operator Alcyone Resources.
Moreton (ASX:MRV) has now prepared its first batch of 784 kilograms of silver concentrate from the site.
Two shipments are expected from the site this week to Moreton’s smelting and refining partners Siltech PMR in Melbourne.
While it’s early days with the concentrate containing multiple impurities, the company remains on track for full production of 90,000 ounces per month by end of January.
Granite Belt includes the former Twin Hills silver mine which previously produced some 1.5 million ounces of silver.
Together with metal found in the existing heap leach ponds at Granite Belt, total contained silver resources are about 21 million ounces.
The project has the potential for a 10-year mine life.
Last year, ABC’s 7.30 program reported local fears that abandoned storage ponds containing water contaminated with heavy metals and cyanide could spill over creating an “environmental catastrophe” for nearby farms and the Murray Darling Basin.
Moreton recently sought allay fears telling investors all environmental compliance activities had been undertaken and the site is operated and maintained in an appropriate fashion consistent with public expectations.
Moreton closed Friday at 1.5c, valuing the company at about $38 million.