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AIC secures mining lease for Jericho, sets pathway for expanding Eloise copper output

17th May 2024

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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The Queensland government has granted AIC Mines a mining lease for the Jericho copper mine, paving the way for surface works to get under way in preparation for mining.

Development of Jericho will transform the Eloise mine, near Cloncurry, into a cornerstone asset for AIC Mines, providing a pathway to expanding production to 20 000 t/y of copper and 10 000 oz/y of gold in concentrate.

MD Aaron Colleran explains that mining at Jericho will be shallower than at Eloise, starting below only 50 m of cover. This will reduce costs.

The expansion of the Eloise processing plant will further lower costs, he adds.

Colleran notes that AIC was granted the mining lease after only 16 months ownership of Jericho. “[This] is a testament to the quality of the project, the work ethic of the AIC Mines team and, importantly, the consistent and well-understood Queensland mining approvals process.”

The project will employee 150 people over a 24-month construction period and then 100 new permanent employees when in production.

Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart stated that the ripple effects of the new project would resonate far beyond the mine, boosting local and international copper supply for solar, wind and battery energy manufacturing, including Mt Isa’s copper smelter.

“It also means flow-on effects to places like Townsville which is part of the critical minerals supply chain.

“Prioritising and fast-tracking mineral extraction is a key action identified under the Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy, and that’s exactly what we’re doing," he stated.

Meanwhile, the Jericho resource remains open along strike and at depth. Exploration drilling, to test targets along strike of Jericho, started last month.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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