One of the world’s premiere gold mines may reopen its doors soon. Mount Morgan, located in Queensland, NSW, Australia, has been out of commission for a while. However, the state government has high ambitions to bring it back and will allocate funding to make that vision come true.
Mount Morgan Makes A Comeback
Although Mount Morgan remains one of the world’s most promising gold mines to date, it is not an active location. The business was shut down in 1990, despite the parent company processing tailings of previous mining operations. In addition, local facilities processed material from other Peko-Wallsend operations. Everything seemed well, yet the location met its demise. Parent company Mount Morgan Limited and the Queensland Government agreed to close the operation indefinitely.
It was a sad end to an illustrious career. Mount Morgan has been an active mining operation site since 1882. Moreover, it produced over 262 tonnes of gold and 37 tonnes of silver. That is in addition to 387,000 tonnes of copper. However, the shutdown was inevitable once the location started running out of its ore body. Moreover, the mine has a high acid water contamination that must be resolved.
Contrary to what one may think, there are still over 320,000 ounces of gold at the location. However, those are conservative estimates and may prove too low. Its leases were sold to Heritage Minerals in 2021, who plan to rework tailings to extract the gold and copper left behind. In addition, mining equipment and processes have become much more refined over the years, and the cost-to-value ratio may prove favorable.
Assuming the Mount Morgan location reopens, it will create over 100 full-time jobs. These are not short-term work opportunities either. Heritage Mining is convinced they can put people to work for the remainder of this century, if not longer. With the support and funding by the Queensland Government, such a revival may be imminent. Or that is the hope, as previous attempts at restoring the mine have fallen through.
A Spark of Hope
Although the QLD government contributes funding, it will only cover preliminary work. There is no disclosure of how much money is committed to the project. As such, the news sparks hope, but no one should get overly excited yet. In addition, Heritage Minerals needs more financial support to pass beyond the “initial stage” of redeveloping the Mount Morgan mine.
One crucial aspect is how mining gold and copper is only one side of the medallion. Heritage Minerals aims to rehabilitate the Mount Morgan gold mine environmentally. That includes addressing the acid water situation with proceeds from mining. However, that can only happen if enough ore is extracted to make the operation profitable over time. On-site construction will begin in Q1 2023 and last until Q2 2024. From then on, the focus will shift to producing gold and copper as quickly as possible.
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