The Cloncurry Project has been the subject of exploration and mining activities by a number of companies over the past 100 years. Open cut mining of oxide gold deposits was commenced along the Starra Line in 1988 by Armico Mining and subsequently underground mining produced copper / gold concentrate from sulphide ore.
Development of a modern underground mine at Mount Elliott commenced in 1993 by Selwyn Mines. Production at Mount Elliott and Starra since start-up in 1988 to closure in 2003 totalled approximately 217,700 tonnes of copper and 1.02 million ounces of gold from a mined tonnage of approximately 12.9 million tonnes averaging 3.10g/t Au and 2.38% Cu.
In 2002, Selwyn Mines experienced difficulties and the Selwyn Mines operation closed as a consequence.
Chinova (then Ivanhoe Australia) acquired Selwyn’s tenements in late 2003 and commenced exploration. As part of this acquisition, Chinova obtained an extensive and valuable database of technical information relating to the mining exploration and drilling undertaken by the previous project owners.
Since 2004, the company has undertaken extensive drilling on the partially drilled copper gold targets at the SWAN Zone at Mount Elliott and secondary copper Mount Dore prospect, followed by geophysical surveys and drilling at numerous other prospects. During a step-out drilling program at Mount Dore, the high-grade Merlin molybdenum & rhenium deposit was discovered.
Following the purchase of the Osborne Mine in 2010, production began in February 2012, with mining commencing at the Osborne and Kulthor underground mines.
Production at the Starra 276 underground mine commenced in March 2013. In August 2014, the Starra 276 mine was closed and in October 2015 both Osborne and Kulthor underground mines were closed.
The Osborne Open Pit Cut Back Project started in September 2015 with first ore exposed in January 2016 and processing commencing in February 2016. Mining is scheduled to be completed around April 2017 with processing continuing until June 2017.
Chinova Resources was successfully acquired by Shanxi Donghui Coal Coking & Chemicals Group Co., Ltd in December 2013.