The Barbara copper mine is located approximately 65kms north-east of Mt Isa in Western Queensland. Development of the Barbara open pit mine commenced in Feb 2019, using conventional drill and blast/ load and haul mining operations, and with mine design involving two separate pits. First ore was produced in June 2019, crushed at surface and transported by road to Glencore’s Mt Isa facility for treatment and processing beginning in December 2019.
The mine operated until December 2020 and has now been placed on care and maintenance.
As at the end of February 2021, the mine had produced approximately 750,000 tonnes of ore during its operation, with some 650,000 tonnes processed, producing 11,100 tonnes of copper. The average grade of ore processed was 1.87%Cu. Final stockpiled ore (approximately 50,000 tonnes) was transported to Mt Isa and processed in April 2021.
Studies are currently being conducted to assess the potential to extend the mine life via a cutback to deepen the south pit. The Barbara deposit is also open along strike with resources extending at depth, well below the current pit designs, creating the potential to develop an underground mine.
Additional drilling is planned to increase the resource and to explore the viability of underground development, accessed via a decline with a portal at the base of the north pit. A scoping study has been completed which confirmed the viability of an underground mine based on identified resources.
The Barbara Resource is a shear hosted deposit within acid volcanics within the Kalkadoon-Leichhardt belt of the Mt Isa Inlier. The NW striking lode dips at approximately 60°to the south west and varies from 2m to 30m true thickness.
The Barbara tenements were first explored by Nippon Mining in the 1960s with drilling conducted by various companies including Nippon, Cyprus Gold, Murchison United NL and Syndicated Metals.
Round Oak’s predecessor company, CopperChem, first became associated with the project in 2013, when it entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Syndicated Metals, which had held the tenements for a number of years.
CopperChem moved to 100% ownership of the Barbara project in April 2017, buying out Syndicated’s interest for $2.3M in cash plus a 1‐2% net smelter return royalty on the first 10,000t of copper‐in‐concentrate sold.
CopperChem ultimately became Round Oak in 2018 and in September 2018, Round Oak extinguished the royalty in return for a cash payment to Syndicated.