SA milestone as Angas moves closer to 2008 production start
South Australia’s first significant zinc mine, the $70m Angas mine near Strathalbyn yesterday took a important step towards starting production next year.Located just 60km from Adelaide, the Angas mine is the closest base metals mining operation to an Australian capital city and, according to Adelaide-based Terramin Australia, work has started on the underground development of the mining operation.A tunnel to access the zinc deposit has already been excavated 50m, with work continuing to the stage where driving of the first network of mine development tunnels can begin from the main decline.“Today we are marking another milestone in the growth of Terramin Australia, and another for South Australian mining history, because this tunnel before us is the entry to the first significant zinc mine in this State,” Terramin’s Executive Chairman, Kevin Moriarty, said yesterday at the mine site with the South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources, Paul Holloway. “Although this Kanmantoo region is the first metal mining belt in Australia, no zinc has ever been mined here, and there has been only small scale mining or quarrying for zinc elsewhere in South Australia,” Dr Moriarty said. “In the 19th Century, zinc in sulphide form could not be extracted from the ore, so the nearby Wheal Ellen, Strathalbyn and Aclare mines only recovered lead and silver. “Here at the Angas mine, we will mine 400,000 tonnes of ore each year and will also have the first processing plant in South Australia producing zinc and silver-lead-gold concentrates,” he said. Construction of the Angas Mine’s processing plant is on schedule for completion by May next year, leading into several weeks of dry and wet commissioning ahead of full production start-up mid year.