Ernest Henry Mining (EHM) is a copper, gold and magnetite mining and processing operation located 38 kilometres north east of Cloncurry in north west Queensland, Australia.
In December 2009 Xstrata Copper announced approval of a US$542 million investment to extend the life of Ernest Henry to at least 2024, through the transformation of open pit mining operations to a major underground mine together with the construction of an associated magnetite extraction plant.
In December 2011 initial underground operations successfully commenced from a decline at a rate of three million tonnes per annum, marking the site’s transition from open pit mining to underground mining and magnetite processing. Following the commissioning of the underground shaft in 2013, production will ramp up to six million tonnes per annum producing 50,000 tonnes of copper and 70,000 ounces of gold in concentrate.
The magnetite processing operation commenced operations in the first quarter of 2011 and will produce approximately 1.2 million tonnes of magnetite per annum for export to Asia. In June 2011, Ernest Henry exported its first shipment of magnetite concentrate making it Queensland’s first iron ore concentrate producer.
In July 2012 open pit mining activities commenced at our Mount Margaret Mining project in north-west Queensland. Xstrata Copper acquired the E1 and Monakoff copper tenements, located 8 kilometres east and 21 kilometres south respectively of Ernest Henry Mining, which make up Mount Margaret, from Exco Resources Limited in June 2011 for AUD175 million. Ore will be trucked to our Ernest Henry Mining operation where it will be processed through the existing concentrator. Ore production began on August 2012..
Brief History of the Operation
Ernest Henry was formed in 1993 following the discovery of economic and significant copper/gold mineralisation in 1991. Following an intensive feasibility study, construction of the mine commenced in 1995. The mine was officially opened in October 1997 with commercial production commencing in March 1998. Xstrata acquired Ernest Henry in June 2003, through its acquisition of MIM Holdings Limited.