Bowdens silver project, Australia – update

Geological section of the Bowdens deposit

7th April 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Bowdens silver project.

About 26 km east of Mudgee, in the central Tablelands region of New South Wales, in Australia.

Project Owner/s
Silver Mines Limited.

Project Description
The project is the biggest undeveloped silver deposit in Australia.

The project comprises an opencut mine, developed in six stages, feeding a new processing plant comprising conventional semiautogenous grinding mill and ball mill circuit, differential flotation, thickening and dewatering to produce two concentrates that will be sold for smelting and refining to finished metals. Plant capacity is designed for two-million tonnes a year and the open-cut mine has an initial life of 16 years.

The feasibility study has demonstrated that the project will produce an average of 3.4-million ounces of silver a year, together with about 6 900 t/y of zinc and 5 100 t/y of lead.

As a result of higher silver grades in the early stages of mining, average production during the first three years of operation will be about 5.4-million ounces of silver a year and 6 000 t/y of zinc and 5 200 t/y of lead.

Potential Job Creation
Peak workforce is estimated at 320 personnel during construction and 230 personnel during operations.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a net present value of A$143.9-million and an internal rate of return of 20.8%

Capital Expenditure
Initial capital costs are estimated at A$246-million, including mine development, a processing plant, a tailings storage facility and power supply.

Planned Start/End Date
The project is set to start operations in 2023.

Latest Developments
New South Wales’ Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has approved the development of the Bowdens silver project, subject to conditions of consent.

The IPC approval is the most significant milestone for Silver Mines Limited since it took over the project in mid-2016.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
GR Engineering Services (overall study management, metallurgical testwork analysis, process design, engineering design); AMC Consultants (geotechnical assessment, metallurgical testwork management, ore reserve estimation, mine design and scheduling); ATC Williams (tailings storage facility design); Jacobs Group (hydrogeological investigations and modelling); RW Corkery & Co (environmental- and social-impact assessment); H & S Consultants (resource estimates); Barnson (road and site access); Energy Management Services (power supply); Bill Cunningham & Associates (product marketing and logistics); and Northshore Capital Advisor (financial analysis).

Contact Details for Project Information
Silver Mines Limited, tel+61 2 8316 3997 or email

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