Heron Resources has started crushing and processing high-grade underground ore from the G2 lens at the Woodlawn mine in Australia.

Woodlawn is a zinc-copper mine located 250km south-west of Sydney, New South Wales, and is owned by Heron Resources.

The company said that ore from the G2 lens was mined to 135m below surface.

Since the underground campaign commenced at the site, more than 10,000t of G2 stoped ore was delivered to the plant, grading 3.9% of Zn, 1.3% of Pb, 0.3% of Cu, 31 g/t Ag and 0.6 g/t of Au.

Heron noted that the first stages of commissioning were completed using tailings reclaim feed material, with some initial commissioning of the crushing and ball mill plant taking place in August and September.

The plant is currently receiving run-of-mine (RoM) ore. It will complete a campaign on this feed source to facilitate the next phase of commissioning for the crusher and ball mill.

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This would mark the start of the ramp-up phase for this portion of the circuit.

The plant will alternate between tailings a reclaim feed and underground ore campaigns when it is in a steady state.

Heron Resources chairman Stephen Dennis said: “The first ore mined and now processed from the G2 lens is a significant achievement for the operations at Woodlawn.

“The high-grade G2 lens was planned to be the first underground ore through the plant and will generate early revenue in these first stages of underground mining.”

The company is currently processing reclaimed tailings, with underground ore campaigns being scheduled in line with the existing production plan of Woodlawn mine.

It anticipates that the plant will sustainably achieve rated capacity from the middle of next year.