Thalanga Operations are located approximately 60km west of Charters Towers in Central Queensland, and approximately 200km SW of Townsville.
Thalanga was discovered in 1975 by Pennaroya Australia Pty Ltd and construction and development of the project was completed in 1989, and commercial production commenced.
The site is located 6km from the Flinders Highway and access to site is by a sealed all weather road. Thalanga Operations is located approximately 60km west of Charters Towers. The current population of Charters Towers is approximately 8,500 people, and Charters Towers is a regional centre for the mining industry, the beef industry and education.
Charters Towers was founded in the 1870’s with the discovery of gold in 1871. The Charters Tower’s goldfield produced over 6.6Moz of gold between 1871 and 1917, with an average grade of 34 g/t Au.
Historically, base metal concentrates produced by Thalanga were either exported through Townsville (200km by sealed road from Thalanga (the largest base metal concentrate export port in Australia, with 1.7Mt of copper, lead and zinc concentrates exported in 2012/2013) or treated at the Sun Metals zinc smelter and refinery located on the outskirts of Townsville.
The Thalanga volcanic hosted massive sulphide deposit is the largest known body of pyritic copper-lead-zinc-silver mineralisation within the Mt Windsor Volcanics. A pre mining non JORC compliant resource1 of 6.35Mt @ 2.2% Cu, 3.9% Pb, 12.3% Zn, 0.6 g/t Au and 99g/t Ag was defined in addition to a copper rich supergene resource of 489,000 tonnes @ 6.8% Cu, 2.3% Pb, 8.7% Zn, 0.85g/t Au and 89g/t Ag and a gold-silver resource of 184,000 tonnes @ 1.68g/t Au and 96g/t Ag. Total recorded production from Thalanga exceeded 4 million tonnes at 1.6% Cu, 3.0% Pb, 9.3% Zn, 0.4 g/t Au and 77g/t Ag2 from Thalanga West, Vomacka and Thalanga East.
1 Gregory, P.W., Hartley J.S. and Willis, K.J.A., (1990) Thalanga zinc-lead-copper-silver deposit, in Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea (Ed. F.E. Hughes), pp. 1527-1537 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne)
2 Otterman (2006) Independent Consulting Geologist’s Report, Liontown Resources
Table 1 Thalanga Operations History
|1975||Outcropping gossan above Central Thalanga discovered by Pennaroya Australia Pty Ltd|
|1989||Thalanga open pit mining started by Pancontinental Mining||4.7Mt milled from Thalanga (open pit and underground) @ 1.9% Cu, 2.6% Pb and 8.3% Zn|
|1991||Underground production commenced and continued until June 1998|
|1998||Thalanga Mine closed. Mill converted from polymetallic (Cu/Pb/Zn) flotation to Cu flotation for Highway Reward copper sulphide ore|
|1999||Highway Reward open pit and underground copper ore treated until July 2005||3.8Mt milled from Highway Reward (open pit and underground) @ 6.2% Cu and 1g/t Au|
|2006||Kagara Ltd. purchased the Thalanga site from Thalanga Copper Mines Pty Ltd and started copper ore from Balcooma (located approximated 330km N of Thalanga) from 2006 to mid 2009.||1.5Mt milled from Balcooma @ 3.3% Cu|
|2010||Mill re-furbished and converted back to polymetallic flotation for treatment of the Vomacka transition sulphide open pit ore and West 45 underground ore|
|2012||Vomacka open pit completed and mill placed on care and maintenance.||0.6Mt milled from Vomacka @ 1.6% Cu, 1.6% Pb and 5.0% Zn|
|2014||Red River acquires Thalanga Operations from Kagara Ltd (in liquidation)|
Thalanga Operations were placed on active care & maintenance by Kagara in 2012. The key infrastructure on site consists of:
- Nominal 600ktpa capacity poly metallic processing plant capable of producing separate copper, lead and zinc concentrates
- Offices, workshops, change facilities and stores complex
- Tailings Storage Facility (TSF)
- Connection to grid power (66Kv power line)
- Water supplied from bore field