Altona attracts Chinese funding

Posted June 30, 2015

Altona

A Chinese construction group has agreed to sink $US214 million ($280 million) into bringing Altona Mining’s Cloncurry copper project to production, paving the way for about 280 new operational jobs.

The new joint venture aims to develop a mine at the Little Eva deposit within that project, 95km north-east of Mount Isa, which is expected to require $294 million in capital costs to start up.

Altona Mining managing director Alistair Cowden said it would take until early 2016 to conclude financing with the Chinese partner, with construction likely to start six months later.

Mr Cowden said Altona preferred to go local where possible for workforce and supply needs, but only if the skill it sought was there and the price was competitive

“We understand that locals usually make the best and most stable employees and that the best thing we can do for a local community is to make it vibrant with jobs and people,” he said.

The newly concluded binding framework agreement would see Sichuan Railway Investment Group (SRIG) hold a 60 per cent interest in the Cloncurry project in return for its contribution, while Altona will contribute $US38 million ($50 million).

A definitive feasibility study in 2014 for the Little Eva development anticipated the construction of a 7mtpa open-pit mine and flotation plant capable of producing 39,000 tonnes per annum copper and 17,000 ounces gold over an initial mine life of 11 years.

Mount Isa deputy mayor and Mount Isa Mining Supplies manager Brett Peterson described the investment deal for Little Eva as the sort of good news the region had needed for quite some time.

“With some sites winding back, this gives us some additional supply opportunities,” he said.

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