Hillgrove gears up

Hillgrove mine will be producing antimony and gold by April, according to owner Roger Jackson.Hillgrove mine will be producing antimony and gold by April, according to owner Roger Jackson.


HILLGROVE will be mining gold and antimony within months, according to the mine’s owner Roger Jackson.
In welcome news for the Armidale economy, more than 40 people are already working in the refurbished mine, while another 40 will start between now and April.
Mr Jackson said his company Bracken Resources saw great potential at Hillgrove, which has been mined for more than 100 years.
“Official documents say the mine has a life span of another 15 or so years, but we think we can get at least 20 years out of it,” he said.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and money into the mine to get it back up to scratch, and that includes fixing a lot of the environmental aspects that had caused previous owners trouble.”
Bracken Resources purchased the Hillgrove mine from Straits for $30 million last year.
Mr Jackson said he thought the deal was a bargain.
“The price of antimony and gold is quite strong and there’s still a big deposit at Hillgrove,” he said.
“I would anticipate we’ll be producing about 9000 tonnes of concentrate in our first year of production and about 15,000 tonnes per year after 2015.”
Mr Jackson, who grew up in Guyra and studied at the University of New England, said he was glad to be in business in his former backyard.
“The support we’ve had from the local council and politicians has been terrific,” he said.
“I think everyone in town wants to see the mine back in action and thriving, too.”
The Hillgrove mine will run 24 hours a day and seven days a week, with most employees set to work 12-hour shifts.
“At this stage that is the plan,” Mr Jackson said. “It will likely be a four days on, three days off scenario as well.”
Peter Hosking, who was the manager of the mine under Straits, remains in the position, while a number of former employees have returned to work for Bracken Resources.
“We found there were quite a number of ex-Hillgrove workers that were still living in the area, but working at other mines on a fly-in, fly-out operation,” Mr Jackson said.
“None of our workers will be flying in, so while a number of our employees were already living in the area, many will be moving to Armidale so they can work at Hillgrove.”

One Response to “Hillgrove gears up”

  1. Joe Massingham says:

    As a one time resident of Armidale I was very interested ti find this story. Some time ago I wrote this poem which I thought went well with the news.


    When God had finished his creation task
    He felt peckish so he bit into the earth’s crust.
    However, the pie’s rich filling was still hot
    and he withdrew hurriedly leaving behind
    teethmarks that when they cooled decorated
    Metz gorge.

    Centuries later, when man came to seek
    the remnants of the fillings of God’s teeth
    they built a township above the gorge’s lip
    where they lived,laughed, cried, toiled
    and died, when they were buried in a cemetery
    marked by headstones in mimic memory
    of the teeth that once they’d picked at
    seeking riches.

    Today the stones are discoloured and decayed,
    though not the gorge. There’s still some drilling here
    and there, but not in the graveyard. There all’s
    silent, waiting, listening for the last trump
    so that those who lie there may rise and search
    for frankincense or myrrh as futilely as once they did
    for gold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1


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