Chinova’s Current Operations
As of December 2022, Chinova had the resource authority holdings in the Cloncurry region of northwest Queensland comprising 32 granted Mining Leases (MLs) with an area of 109.8 km, held by its 100% owned subsidiaries Chinova Resources Cloncurry Mines Pty Ltd (24 MLs) and Chinova Resources Osborne Pty Ltd (8 MLs). Chinova’s exploration holdings comprised 23 granted Exploration Permits for Minerals (EPMs) including joint ventures for a total area of 2709 km².
Ore containing copper and gold is mined from the Starra Line. The ore is trucked approximately 50km south on our private haul road to the Osborne Processing Plant. Here the ore is milled and then floated to create a copper/gold concentrate. Gold doré is also recovered via a gravity circuit.
The CopperString project https://copperstring2.com.au proposes to provide an electricity connection for the Mount Dore / Starra / Merlin deposits to the QLD grid power from 2024. Chinova has a connection to a natural gas supply, via the Cannington spur which traverses the Osborne mine site and connects the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline to the Cannington Mine.
Opportunities exist to share infrastructure and develop synergies between these projects to minimise future capital expenditure and project operating costs.
Following the depletion of the Osborne mine and in a time of buoyant copper and gold prices, Chinova’s attention refocused on the brownfields Starra Line of mines, as a potential source of mill feed for the Osborne Processing Plant. Three areas along the Starra Line have been identified to provide ore for a project which is now known as the Osborne Extended Mine Life Project, or the EML Project. The mining areas with their current mine inventory reported above economic thresholds from mining feasibility studies are:-
- Starra 254 Open Pit = 2.34M tonnes @ 0.77%Cu, 1.28g/t Au.
- Starra 222 Open Pit (cutback) = 0.35M tonnes @ 0.68%Cu, 1.20g/t Au.
- Starra 222 Underground = 3.27M tonnes @ 0.79%Cu, 1.88g/t Au.
The EML Project will mine approximately 6 million tonnes from these three mines extending the life of the Osborne site by several years. Ore is being hauled by road trains, approximately 50km from the Starra mines to Osborne Processing Plant, along a sealed haul road, privately owned and operated by Chinova.
The three mines do not exhaust the potential along the Starra Line with the most recent mining prior to current operations occurring from 2013 to 2014 at Starra 276, where Chinova mined 0.85M tonnes @ 1.67% Cu, 0.93g/t Au from underground development. Several other areas along the Starra line are also identified as having exploration potential.
The EML Project may also be extended with mill feed from the Kulthor deposit, located adjacent to Osborne processing facility, should future exploration and mining feasibly studies at Kulthor prove favourable.