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Galea Mining (Galena) has announced its latest construction update at its Abra Base Metal Mine (Abra) where the project reached 67 per cent completion as of May 2022, with water pumping infrastructure now set up. 

The mine is a globally significant lead-silver project located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. 

Construction achievements during May include setting up to commence underground drilling and significant progress with solar farm installation and the remaining surface infrastructure. 

Galena Mining Managing Director, Tony James, said consistent progress has been made at the Abra site in Western Australia. 

“The arrival of key items from overseas like the concentrate filter and thickeners continue to reduce overall execution risk,” Mr James said. 

“Underground development remains on plan but was lower than planned during May due to setting up water pumping infrastructure and mobile equipment downtime. 

“Overall, the decline has reached the 1,368mRL level which is now 55m vertically above the orebody. It’s very exciting to see the diamond drill underground and the commencement of diamond drilling into the upper part of the orebody. 

“At the processing plant a total of 1,816m3 (73 per cent) of concrete has been poured and 166 tonnes of structural steel has been installed (29 per cent). 

“Progress at the power station and solar farm has also been very positive.”

Construction progress details

Overall progress continues to remain in line with the mine project schedule for the production critical areas of mining and processing. The processing plant engineering, procurement and construction has reached 72 per cent completion by project spend. 

Underground mine development has reached 1,368mRL, which is 182m below the surface and only 55m above the orebody. Total underground development achieved in May was 172m. 

The lower progress in underground development during May is offset by earlier achievements being ahead of schedule. Overall underground development remains on plan as at the end of May. During May the second leg of the primary ventilation shaft (6m diameter raise drill hole) was drilled between the 1,400mRL and the 1,467mRL.

The installation of the primary vent fan on the surface is now planned to be completed in June, which will enable the secondary fans to be moved down from the surface box-cut. Mono pumps have been installed at the 1,390mRL level to assist with water and pumping management. 

Underground drilling commenced in early June, which will provide detailed grade control information well ahead of ore production. 

In surface bulk earthworks, the work for the building of the tailing’s storage facility (TSF) has been awarded and the contractor has commenced mobilisation to site. The TSF wall construction commenced in early June. 

The final works package associated with the remaining non-processing infrastructure is progressing quickly. The work is not production critical, although it is expected to be completed well in advance of commissioning. This includes the remaining buildings and the drill-core processing and storage facility. 

Owners’ costs and contingencies remain under budget.

Abra has been advised of revised delivery times for some of the overseas equipment supply for the processing plant. As is the nature of international shipping, delivery dates continue to be revised. None of these delivery time changes are expected to cause any overall construction schedule delays at this stage. 

GR Engineering continues to work on the timing of the remaining equipment deliveries and update its work schedules and plans. 

The mill installation had a three month time frame buffer in the original schedule, which is why the current delivery adjustments are not causing potential construction delay concerns relating to the grinding section of the plant.

Image courtesy of Galena Mining Limited. 

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