A copper mine outside Cloncurry is back in business after a temporary shut down last month.
The shutdown was in relation to health and safety procedures at CuDECO Limited Rocklands Group Copper Project, 17 kilometres from Cloncurry.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines suspended operations on on February 16 after the companies health and safety procedures did not match up to its documented system.
Chief Executive Officer, Mark Gregory, said all operations were shut down until their documented system could properly reflect activity and processes on site.
”The shut down was largely related to the risks of operations, hazards and how we controlled them,” Mr Gregory said.
“These procedures have always been in place but it just didn’t match our paperwork, therefore we updated our system.”
Mr Gregory met with the inspectors in Brisbane to discuss options on how to become operational again.
“We have since addressed the issues that were raised in the audit and resubmitted our documents to the department.
“They were satisfied on how we updated our documents and allowed us to resume operations eight days after we were shut down.
“They also recommended that we conduced and audit by an independent consultant which has now been done and should be submitted to us and the department in a few days time.”
Following the shut down, CuDECO since removed maintenance staff from the mine resulting in the loss of five Cloncurry mechanical employees.
Although this happened one week after the shut down, Mr Gregory insists they are not connected.
“Since recommencing mining operations including earthworks, drilling, blasting, removal of overburden, extraction of copper minerals, that mining process we have engaged a contractor to undertake mining on this site.
“Andy’s Earthmovers will officially commence tomorrow (March 15), and has resulted in the roles responsible of maintaining CuDECO’s mining equipment no longer exist.”
Nationally based in Victoria, Andy’s Earthmovers consists of a fleet of over 300 earthmoving machines.
“This decision has been in the pipeline for some months. We put out a tender and went through a number of world credential mining contractors to ultimately select Andy’s based on their capabilities and pricing.
“We do try and source locally, unless it is a specific skill set that we are chasing.”
CuDECO’s focus is now on the mining and processing operations to reach their full capacity over the next few months.