The Kapunda Copper ISR Project
In-Situ Recovery mining is an environmentally low impact alternative to recover copper and gold 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.
Geologists from 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 one of the standouts.
ECR then started discussions with the tenement holder Terramin Ltd. (ASX:TZN) in early 2016 and negotiated funding with Thor Mining (ASX:PLC) in respective stages, incorporating ECR Pty Ltd in August 2017. ECR remain the Project Managers of the ISR project, with Thor earning into ECR over 3 years.
In February 2019, Joint Venture Agreement was signed with Terramin and lodged with DEM (Department for Energy & Mining).
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 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 of 119,000 tonnes which could be amenable to ISR (ASX announcment).
Historic water sampling data indicates significant levels of copper in the mine groundwater, and preliminary baseline environmental and hydrogeological work suggests suitable ISR flow rates could be obtained.
This will be a staged project 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.
In July 2018, ECR was awarded a Commonwealth Government CRC-P (Co-operative Research Centre) Grant into Copper 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.
"The CRC Program supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community"
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