Operations

The most commonly mined antimony mineral is stibnite (Sb2S3), a silvery-gray sulphide mineral with a specific gravity of 4.6. Antimony is a key mineral commodity used widely in industrialised societies.

Antimony’s leading uses are in flame retardants (as antimony oxide). Major markets for antimony-based flame retardants include electronics, plastics, fabrics used in children’s clothing, aircraft and car seat covers and bedding). The major use metallurgical used of antimony is primarily in lead-acid batteries which commonly contain 4-6% antimony alloyed with lead.

Estimate of global antimony demand by end-user segment

Source: USGS and Roskill.

 

Global production of antimony in 2018 was estimated to be 140,000 tonnes and China continued to be the leading global antimony producer, accounting for more than 70% of global mine production. In 2016 and 2017, many large-scale producers reduced production and many small-scale producers closed in response to price declines in China and stricter environmental standards from Provincial and national governments. In 2018, producers in Hunan, Yunnan, and Guizhou Provinces maintained a steady production rate after their smelters completed upgrades to meet the environmental standards. In the next several years, antimony mining in the Guizhou Province was expected to be limited as a part of the Chinese Government’s mining industry reforms aiming to reduce mine overproduction.

 

Estimate of global antimony production by country

Source: USGS and Roskill.

 

Antimony has been identified as a critical raw material by the European Union (EU), the United States and also by the United Kingdom and Japan, who have all published reports ranking raw materials on key criteria including supply risk and economic importance. The presence of China as the dominant producer and its key importance, particularly in military applications.

Antimony has been grouped with a number of higher profile critical raw materials (including light rare earth elements (LREEs), heavy rare earth elements (HREEs), tungsten, cobalt and niobium).

European Union Critical Raw Materials (CRM) 2017

For more information on the Critical Raw Materials, please refer to the following sources:

European Union Critical Raw Materials

https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/raw-materials/specific-interest/critical_en

Chapter C of Critical mineral resources of the United States – Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply (USGS)

https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/pp1802C

 

Antimony prices peaked in 2011, and then fell to a low in early 2016, and have since begun to recover.

Source: United States Antimony Corporation

Metal Bulletin Average Monthly Metal Price per Metric Tonne CIF USA

 

Red River completed the acquisition of the Hillgrove Gold Mine in August 2019. The previous owner had placed Hillgrove in care & maintenance in 2015/2016 due to low commodity prices. Red River undertook a detail restart study, and the study outcome was a staged restart approach, generating low operating risk and capital cost.

Stage One (Bakers Creek Stockpile)

Stage One (Bakers Creek Stockpile) Restart commenced at the end of December 2020 when first ore was fed into the mill.

  • Stage One estimated life of 12 months
  • Bakers Creek Stockpile (225,000 tonnes @ 2.5 g/t Au) processed to produce a gravity gold concentrate and a flotation gold concentrate
  • Trucked 9km to mill using existing surface vehicle fleet
  • Concentrates will be leached on site to produce saleable gold doré
  • Estimated restart capital cost of A$5m
     

Figure 1 First Stage One Ore fed into Hillgrove Mill

Stage Two (Full Restart of Underground Mining Operations)

  • UG mining operations forecast to commence mid to late 2021 in Metz Mining Centre
  • Metz Mining Centre has a JORC Mineral Resource of 3.0Mt @ 4.5 g/t Au & 1.4% Sb (6.5 g/t Au Eq.) (426koz Au & 41kt Sb contained)
  • Production of gold doré, gold concentrate and antimony-gold concentrate
  • RVR is aiming for Stage 2 operational life of greater than 5 years producing 30,000-50,000oz gold equivalent p.a.


The Metz Mining Centre is currently on active care & maintenance, with all infrastructure (ventilation, power, water) in place to support near term restart of mining. Previous owners invested significant capital in development the Metz Mining Centre, with approximately 3,950m of declines and capital development, 3,400m of ore drives in the Syndicate Lode, 500m of ore drives in Blacklode and 320m of ore drives in Cox’s Lode.


Figure 2 Metz Mining Centre Decline


Figure 3 Metz Mining Centre Development

Upsides

  • There is substantial upside to extend mine life and/or increase production rate from current JORC 2012 Mineral Resource of 5.0Mt @ 4.3 g/t Au & 1.5% Sb (6.4 g/t Au Eq.) (692koz Au & 75kt Sb contained)
  • Red River is also converting the material JORC 2004 Mineral Resource at Hillgrove to a JORC 2012 Mineral Resource. The resource conversion process has highlighted the potential for Eleanora as a second mining front and other targets at Hillgrove

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves underpin the enterprise value of a company and provide a basis for life of mine and annual budgets.

Red River’s estimates of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves are undertaken by a team of highly skilled technical personnel including geologists, mining engineers and metallurgist that qualify as Competent Persons under the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code).

The JORC Code is a framework for classifying Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates. Mineral Resources can be classified as Measured, Indicated and Inferred, according to the level of geological knowledge and confidence. Ore Reserves can be classified as Proved or Probable on the basis of the Mineral Resource classification and consideration of all JORC modifying factors. Only Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources can be converted to Ore Reserves.


Figure 1 General Relationship between Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves



The figures included in our Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves statement are estimates only and not precise calculations, therefore appropriate rounding according to JORC guidelines has been applied.


The Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve tables on this page provide a detailed breakdown of the estimates, which have been prepared according to the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’ (the JORC Code, 2012 Edition).

Thalanga Operation Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource

To download the current Thalanga Operations Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource statement please click here

Hillgrove Project Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource

To download the current Hillgrove Project Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource statement please click here

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves underpin the enterprise value of a company and provide a basis for life of mine and annual budgets.

Red River’s estimates of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves are undertaken by a team of highly skilled technical personnel including geologists, mining engineers and metallurgist that qualify as Competent Persons under the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code).

The JORC Code is a framework for classifying Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates. Mineral Resources can be classified as Measured, Indicated and Inferred, according to the level of geological knowledge and confidence. Ore Reserves can be classified as Proved or Probable on the basis of the Mineral Resource classification and consideration of all JORC modifying factors. Only Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources can be converted to Ore Reserves.

Figure 1 General Relationship between Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves



The figures included in our Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves statement are estimates only and not precise calculations, therefore appropriate rounding according to JORC guidelines has been applied.

The Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve tables on this page provide a detailed breakdown of the estimates, which have been prepared according to the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’ (the JORC Code, 2012 Edition).

To download the current Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource statement please click here
 
 

The Liontown polymetallic volcanogenic hosted massive sulphide deposit is located 40km southwest of Charters Towers in North Queensland. It is accessed by the Flinders Highway and the Gregory Developmental Road. Red River acquired the Liontown Project in 2014 with the acquisition of the Thalanga Base Metal Operations. 

Liontown Project Location

 

Liontown Deposit

The Liontown Mineral Resource is currently 4.1Mt @ 0.6% Cu, 1.9% Pb, 5.9% Zn, 1.1 g/t Au & 29 g/t Ag (12.7% Zn Eq.). The Liontown deposit is open at depth and strike with significant potential for further Mineral Resource increases.

Red River has increased the Liontown Project Mineral Resource by 115% since acquisition, with the discovery of Liontown East and the completion of a drilling program in 2019.

 

Mining at Liontown is estimated to have started on the gold-copper rich parts of the deposit in 1905, continuing until 1911. In 1952, a silver-lead lode, part of the Liontown Horizon was discovered and subsequently mined.

Mineralisation in the Liontown Horizon is developed in the basal siltstone unit of the hangingwall sequence, with the most consistent mineralisation lying immediately above the pumice breccia. Mineralisation is developed as multiple zones of stratiform, laminated, semi‐massive and rarely massive sulphide. The Liontown host rocks comprise a footwall sequence of dacitic pyroclastics termed pumice breccia, which has been strongly silicified and chlorite altered.

Liontown Project Development

Red River has commenced development activities at Liontown, with the intention to commence mining at Liontown in FY23.

The Liontown deposit is open in all directions and will be a key part of mining operations at Thalanga for the foreseeable future.

As part of the development activities, the Liontown site was cleared of tailings from a historic mining operation which were processed through the Thalanga Mill to produce a saleable gold concentrate.

Far West is the down dip extension of the Thalanga West volcanogenic polymetallic massive sulphide (VHMS) deposit. The key minerals of economic importance contained in the massive sulphide mineralisation are chalcopyrite (copper sulphide, Cu FeS2), galena (lead sulphide, PbS) and sphalerite (zinc sulphide, ZnFeS). The massive sulphide mineralisation also contains material quantities of silver and gold.

Far West is located approximately 500m from the Thalanga Mill

Far West Decline Portal

Far West is an UG mechanised mine with an estimated mine life in excess of 5 years. Far West has a current Ore Reserve of 1.4Mt @ 1.4% Cu, 1.7% Pb, 5.1% Zn, 0.3 g/t Au & 49 g/t Ag (12.6% Zn Eq.) and a Mineral Resource of 1.7Mt @ 1.6% Cu, 2.2% Pb, 6.4% Zn, 0.3 g/t Au & 61 g/t Ag (15.3% Zn Eq.)

Development activities commenced at the Far West Portal in May 2018, and first ore from Far West was processed through Thalanga in March 2019.

UG ore production has successfully ramped up to the design 30-40,000 tonnes per month level in early 2020.

Far West Development (as at September 2020)

Far West Mine UG Face Sampling

Drill Jumbo in UG Development at Far West

The West 45 deposit is the first to be mined at Thalanga as part of the recommencement of concentrate production. It consists of five semi‐massive to massive sulphide lenses rich in zinc and lead.
West 45 hosts a JORC Code (2012) compliant Ore Reserve of 567kt at 11.6% Zn Eq. and a Mineral Resource estimate of 582kt at 15.45% Zn Eq. using a cut-off grade of 5% Zn Eq., as at 20 December 2017.

Development and mining activities at West 45 recommenced in April 2017, with the delivery of the first ore from West 45 to the Thalanga ROM pad. Stoping commenced in September 2017, and the first load of production ore was delivered to the Thalanga ROM soon after.

PYBAR Mining Services is undertaking contract mining activities at West 45.

In addition, Red River is completing drilling at West 45, aimed at further extending the known mineralisation. Results from extension drilling are being modelled and incorporated in an updated West 45 mine schedule. Red River is also modelling the economic viability of driving a new level (976 West) above the 956 Level.
 

Drill Jumbo UG at West 45

West 45 Ore Delivered to Thalanga ROM Pad

West 45 hosts a JORC Code (2012) compliant Mineral Resource of 591kt grading 0.6% Cu, 3.5% Pb, 8.3% Zn, 0.3g/t Au and 69g/t Ag. The resource estimate was completed by Mining One Consultants in January 2015.

For further details of the West 45 resource and the supporting disclosures and appendices, please refer Thalanga Projects – Reserves & Resources and also to the Red River ASX release “Thalanga Project – Updated Mineral Resource Estimate” dated 11 February 2015.

The Thalanga Base Metal Operation (Thalanga) is located approximately 55km west of Charters Towers in Northern Queensland, Australia and is 100% owned by Red River Resources Limited.


Thalanga Location

 

Thalanga Base Metal Operation

History

The Thalanga polymetallic massive sulphide deposit was discovered in 1975 and production commenced in 1989. The pre-mining resource was 6.35 Mt @ 2.2% Cu, 3.9% Pb, 12.3% Zn, 99 g/t Ag & ~1-2 g/t Au, and the Thalanga deposit was mined by open pit and underground operations. Production from the Thalanga deposit ceased in 1998, and the mining operations were placed on care & maintenance when the Thalanga mill was converted to process high grade copper ore from the nearby Highway-Reward deposit.

From 1998 to 2005, 3.2Mt @ 6.2% Cu & 1 g/t Au of copper ore from Highway-Reward was processed through the Thalanga Mill. When mining activities ceased at Highway-Reward in 2005, the Thalanga Operation was placed on care & maintenance.

Kagara acquired the Thalanga Operation in 2006, and restarted production, initially processing copper ore from the Balcooma deposit, then refurbishing the Thalanga mill to treat polymetallic massive sulphide ore (producing separate copper, lead and zinc concentrates) from Thalanga. Kagara placed the Thalanga Operation on care & maintenance and then subsequently went into voluntary administration in early 2012.

Thalanga was acquired by Red River from the Kagara liquidators in 2014 for A$6.5 million.


Current Operations

Red River commenced mining operations at the West 45 UG polymetallic high-grade massive sulphide deposit in April 2017, and the Thalanga Mill commenced processing the West 45 ore to produce separate copper, lead and zinc concentrates in September 2017.

Red River announced a maiden JORC Resource for the polymetallic high-grade massive sulphide deposit at Far West in January 2015 and the first ore from the Far West UG mine was processed through the Thalanga Mill in March 2019. Red River ceased production at West 45 in February 2020 (ore body mined out) and Far West will be the main source of ore for the Thalanga Mill until the Liontown Project is developed.

To date, Red River has processed in excess of 1Mt of ore from the West 45 and Far West deposits at Thalanga.


First Concentrate Produced at Thalanga by Red River


Copper concentrate produced at Thalanga is sold to Glencore at the Thalanga mine gate. The lead and zinc concentrates are trucked to the Port of Townsville where they are sold to Trafigura.


Operations

Thalanga consists of a 650ktpa capacity milling facility which produces separate copper, lead and zinc concentrates.Thalanga employs approximately 160 employees and contractors on a local residential basis and the majority of the workforce resides in Charters Towers.

 

 

 

Power at Thalanga is supplied by a 66kV connection to the Queensland power grid. The site water requirements are supplied from on site water storages and recycling water used in the processing plant. Thalanga also sources additional water from a bore field.


Thalanga Operational Life

Thalanga currently has an estimated operational life of approximately 10 years based on the Far West UG operation and the Liontown Project.

Far West is an UG mechanised mine with an estimated mine life of 5 years+. Far West has a current Ore Reserve of 1.4Mt @ 1.4% Cu, 1.7% Pb, 5.1% Zn, 0.3 g/t Au & 49 g/t Ag (12.6% Zn Eq.) and a Mineral Resource of 1.7Mt @ 1.6% Cu, 2.2% Pb, 6.4% Zn, 0.3 g/t Au & 61 g/t Ag (15.3% Zn Eq.)

The Liontown Project has a current Mineral Resource of 4.1Mt @ 0.6% Cu, 1.9% Pb, 5.9% Zn, 1.1 g/t Au & 29 g/t Ag (12.7% Zn Eq.) Liontown has a high grade gold component (1.1 g/t Au, 152koz Au contained).

Red River is currently developing Liontown as Red River’s 3rd mine at Thalanga. Liontown will be an open pit / UG mine with a conceptual mine life of 10+ years