By Jeremy Sollars
The mining company which plans to re-start the formerly defunct Twin Hills silver mine at Texas says its testing and trials show the mine is still “highly prospective”.
As reported last week, the silver mine has moved a step closer to re-starting operations, with MRV Metals having secured a Queensland Government mining lease over the site this month.
MRV Metals is a wholly-owned subsidiary of stock exchange-listed company Moreton Resources.
A company statement released on Tuesday 3 October says MRV Metals plans to develop “a mining precinct that will look to advance silver, copper, zinc and gold metals”.
“The operations are scheduled to be fully operational by January 2018 and (we) seek from that stage, immediate positive cash flow,” the statement said.
The mine is located six kilometres from Texas and was previously operated by Alcyone Resources, which went into receivership in 2014.
Locals have held concerns over potential run-off from cyanide holding ponds at the defunct mine during heavy rainfall, but the State Government has issued repeated assurances the Dumaresq River catchment has not and will not be affected.
The site also has abandoned mining infrastructure and stockpiles of unprocessed ore, and has been monitored in recent times by the State Government’s Abandoned Mines Unit.
While MRV Metals is upbeat about the mine’s future potential, it says the project will be approached “with caution”.
“All of our test work and trials to date indicate these assets are highly prospective, and the upside we feel is significant,” the company’s statement on 3 October said.
“However, given the prior issues with the site and commodity prices, we will be seeking to have a very cautious and constrained view at entry and advancement, to ensure the site can sustain the economic cycles of metals prices and exchange rates.
“One of the most rewarding positions this (lease) grant has put us in, is the ability to seek to employ a raft of local and regional staff, having recently undertaken a recruitment campaign in Mackay and Dalby, and seeking to employ those staff throughout October 2017, for our January 2018 production ramp-up.
“In line with the ethos of its parent company, MRV Metals will be seeking to hire local, and utilise local infrastructure and services wherever possible.
“We have already made a significant impact in the day-to-day business community within Texas and more than 60 per cent of our current staff have all been recruited from the local area.”
MRV Metals said the State Government and the Goondiwindi Regional Council had been supportive of its bid to re-start the silver mine.
Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Graeme Scheu this week welcomed the news of the lease approval.
“The closure of the Twin Hills site left an awful void in the economic income for the town of Texas and it is pleasing to see a company like MRV Metals step up and continue the operation,” Cr Scheu said.
“We wish MRV Metals all the very best with the venture and eagerly await an opening in early 2018.
“In times where jobs are paramount, it is a significant announcement for our region.”