Heron Resources reported in late June that a robust feasibility study of its 100% owned, fully permitted, high-grade Woodlawn zinc-copper-lead project in New South Wales supports the viability of a “Starter Case” project based on current mineral reserves to deliver quality zinc, copper and lead concentrates to market over a nine-year mine life.
The project is located on the site of the former Woodlawn mine, which operated from 1978 to 1998 and processed 13.8 million metric tons (mt) of ore from open-pit, underground, and satellite deposits.
The Starter Case project is based on both underground mining and reclaimed tailings as production sources, with processing through a standard sulphide flotation facility targeting steady-state production of 40,000 mt/y of zinc, 10,000 mt/y of copper and 12,000 mt/y of lead in separate concentrates.
Inferred mineral resources defined in both the underground and tailings projects and considerable exploration upside hold the potential to significantly extend the mine life.
Upfront capital costs are estimated A$144 million, with a +/-15% accuracy. Payback of startup capital is estimated at approximately 2.3 years from commissioning.
The Woodlawn project is situated on a granted mining lease and has access to grid power and renewable energy options, rail and road infrastructure, and water. The project’s proximity to large service and employment centers, including Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, and Goulburn, will provide a number of logistical benefits and local employment opportunities as Heron pursues a rapid development schedule of 15 months from commencement of construction to completion of wet commissioning.
The Woodlawn project is highly leveraged to commodity prices with a particular focus on zinc, which makes up around 48% of expected total payable metal value for the project. Heron is currently evaluating the sourcing of long lead-time items, including potential second-hand equipment procurement options.