Abra Mining Pty Limited (AMPL), the joint venture company for the lead-silver project in the Gascoyne region, has advised of the construction start.
Box-cut works are being carried out by a third-party mining contractor and are expected to take about two to three months to complete, after which development of the underground mine decline can begin.
Galena managing director Alex Molyneux said: “This first mine development step is an important milestone in our schedule to begin realising Abra’s tremendous potential in 2021.”
Work for the box-cut involves blasting, mining and removal of around 65,000 bank cubic metres (bcm) of material to create a pit averaging about 45 metres wide (east-west), 190 metres long (north-south) and 25 metres deep.
The main portal for the Abra underground mine decline will be in the southern wall of the completed box-cut excavation.
Abra Base Metals Project, which is 86.16%-owned by Galena, is a globally significant lead-silver project.
A positive definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project was based on the development of a mine and processing facility with a 16-year life producing a high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate containing around 95,000 tonnes of lead and 805,000 ounces of silver annually after ramp-up.
Based on a pre-development capital expenditure estimate of $170 million, the DFS modelled a pre-tax net present value for Abra, at an 8% discount rate, of $553 million and an internal rate of return of 39%.