The Kapunda Copper ISR project
In-Situ Recovery mining is an environmentally low impact alternative to recover copper deposits that are not able to be mined conventionally.
Kapunda is a town built up around Australia’s copper mining history and lays claim to not only being the first established profitably operating copper mine but also being the saviour of South Australia’s financial woes in the 1840’s.
MET (predecessor of ECR) undertook a desktop review of many mineral occurrences and historic mine sites, to ascertain which projects may be amenable to InSitu Recovery. The result was a shortlist of over 50 potential opportunities across Australia of which Kapunda was a standout.
ECR then started discussions with the tenement holder Terramin Exploration in early 2016 and negotiated funding with Thor Mining (ASX:PLC) in respective stages, incorporating ECR Pty Ltd in August 2017.
The current owner of the mine site is the Light Regional Council, having been gifted the mine by the then state government in the early 1970s. Light Regional Council approved ECR (MET) to undertake early stage investigative work in February 2017.
Kapunda has enough historic drilling data taken from 1965 through to 2008, to allow the calculation of an inferred copper resource estimate which could be amenable to ISR (Terramin ASX announcment).
Historic water sampling data indicates significant levels of copper in the mine groundwater, and preliminary baseline environmental and hydrogeological work suggests suitable flow rates could be obtained.
This will be a staged project with Terramin in accordance with the Mining Act SA 1971 and continual council and community engagement along the way. Key to the projects success will be community acceptance, along with positive technical outcomes at each of these feasibility stages.
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Project Update ......
Baseline environmental water studies and analysis for copper and other mineral species have been undertaken from surrounding areas. Historic drilling done over the last 50 years, has provided core samples (stored at the SA Core Library) and are being assessed by CSIRO for porosity and permeability, to evaluate for lixiviant application. In other words, which lixiviant will extract the copper and how much will be extracted.
In July 2018, ECR was awarded a Commonwealth Government CRC-P (Co-operative Research Centre) Grant into In-Situ Recovery mining. The $2.8 million will fund research into areas leading to better environmental outcomes, improved economic results and effective community engagement.
Last updated October 2018
More about Environmental Copper Recovery
The Steps to an ISR Project
Your questions answered ......
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