Adelong mine likely to reopen

Signs are good for the reopening of the Adelong Challenger Gold Mine, according to owners International Base Metals Limited.

“The mine is currently in care and maintenance pending an upgrade,” IBML chief financial officer Barry Neal said.

“Consultants were commissioned to prepare a report on the upgrade of the plant and this report is now complete. The outcome is positive for the opening of a productive mine.”

The mine went into care and maintenance in December last year and jobs were unfortunately lost. There are currently three staff working on care and maintenance.

On January 15 this year International Base Metals Limited IBML purchased the remaining shares in Macquarie Gold Ltd (MGL) and this company and its subsidiary Challenger Mines Pty Ltd are now wholly owned by IBML.

Earlier in the year Mr Neal stated that an upgrade was needed because the company wasn’t getting the gold recovery necessary, despite knowing it was in the ore.

“The timing of the upgrade is not yet determined and will require an upgrade of the tailing dam as well as equipment requiring considerable investment,” he said this week.

However the mine’s re-opening looks likely.

“The owners are committed to reopening the mine,” Mr Neal said.

The mill employed 24 people last year as it initially commissioned a rock crushing plant and subsequently commissioned a round the clock gold mill.

The mine produced gold from low grade rock left behind by historic gold mining operations.

The company had anticipated the mine would have a life of seven years, and potentially much longer.