The Golden Grove underground base and precious metals mine in WA produces concentrates of zinc, copper and lead/precious metals. The mine is about 450 kilometres northeast of Perth and 280km east of Geraldton. MMG acquired Golden Grove from Newmont Mining Corporation in July 2005.
Golden Grove consists of the Scuddles and Gossan Hill zinc and copper underground mines and the Scuddles plant. The Gossan Hill deposits are Volcanic Hosted Massive Sulphide-style deposits that contain zinc and copper mineralisation and also contain associated silver, gold and lead mineralisation. MMG announced in January 2009 that the Scuddles mine would be put on care and maintenance.
Mining began in 1990 and is by underground, sub-level open stoping method, with processing by crush, grind and floatation methods. The ore is treated from the mine via a two stage grinding circuit followed by floatation using air agitation to separate the sulphides.
Golden Grove had proven probable reserves of 6.5 million tonnes of combined copper, gold silver and zinc ore and 1.5Mt of lead ore (figures as at June 30 2010).
Exploration at Golden Grove was restarted in 2009. Substantial diamond drilling programs, both at surface and underground, are targeting down-plunge extensions of the Scuddles and Gossan Hill ore bodies. Additionally, several near-mine prospects south of Golden Grove are being followed up with detailed geophysical surveys and further drilling.
Golden Grove zinc, copper and precious metal concentrates are exported through the nearby Port of Geraldton to smelters in China, Japan, India, Thailand and Australia.
Operating. The MMG board approved the development of an open copper pit to supplement current underground operations at Golden Grove in March 2011. The project would produce up to 270,000t of copper concentrate containing 56,000t of copper from 2011 to 2014.The open copper pit is planned to be located directly over the existing underground workings at the Gossan Hill mine, and it will provide an additional 3.0Mt of copper ore reserves to the overall Golden Grove production profile. Permitting was underway at the time of writing and MMG expected production to begin in late 2011.