Anax Metals completes civil works for Whim Creek copper-zinc development
Perth-based explorer Anax Metals (ASX: ANX) is pursuing regulatory demands and infrastructure refurbishment at its 80% -owned Whim Creek copper-zinc project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The company has submitted a mining proposal and a mine closure plan and is close to completing an updated scoping study as the final feasibility study progresses.
The proposal seeks to obtain Anax’s approval to begin operations through the expansion of an existing surface mine at the Mons Cupri deposit and associated waste rock dumps.
It includes the refurbishment of an existing crushing circuit to process ore and the installation of new ore sorters to produce high quality copper and zinc preconcentrates.
The sorters will separate the secondary sorting products (media) and distribute them on the existing heap leaching platforms for bioleaching.
The final tailings will be used, if applicable, as an engineered fill ore aggregate product.
The mine proposal also targets the construction of a 120-room accommodation village as well as the modernization of the processing plant and the renovation of support facilities.
Since closing the Whim Creek transaction last November, Anax and contracted site manager PPM Global have completed site work focused on repairing and upgrading existing infrastructure to meet current licensing standards.
The work meets the requirements of an Environmental Protection Notice (EPN) issued in 2019 by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to the former owners of the project.
A state-of-the-art weather station has also been installed on site to allow continuous remote monitoring of atmospheric conditions.
Accurate and timely records of temperature and precipitation are required to comply with management plans in place under the EPN.
Anax recently completed construction of a 60,000 cubic meter environmental pond lined with high density polyethylene (HDPE) that will be integrated into the project’s treatment solution and stormwater management system.
This will help ensure that the project infrastructure will have sufficient capacity to contain runoff generated by a 72-hour rainfall event over a 20-year period, and increase the site’s containment capacity.
New extended stormwater dikes were also put in place to divert stormwater runoff from the treatment facility and environmental basin, thus preserving the containment capacity of the infrastructure.
The project’s on-site accommodation camp has been modernized to accommodate up to 15 people.
A new kitchen and mess hall were built to accommodate an influx of additional staff and contractors associated with the current round of civil works.
Construction was facilitated by the short-term rental of caravans which were brought to the site and connected to the existing infrastructure.
Anax chief executive Geoff Laing said the company is focused on moving the project forward to start copper production in 2023.
âThe submission of the mining proposal was a big step forward and our main contractors have achieved an excellent result with the ongoing site upgrade work,â he said.
âMost of the remediation work required as part of the EPN is now complete and we look forward to delivering [our] feasibility study integrating the leverage effects provided by Anax’s development strategy.