Aeris Resources are 100% owners and operators of the Tritton Copper Operations located near the town of Nyngan in central New South Wales is operated by Tritton Resources Pty Ltd, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Aeris Resources Limited.
There are two underground mines, Tritton Underground Mine (Tritton) and Murrawombie Underground Mine (Murrawombie). The combined ore production from both mines is treated at the 1.8 million tonnes per annum Tritton processing plant.
There are also four additional advanced mining projects (Avoca Tank, Budgerygar, Budgery and Murrawombie Open Pit) scheduled for future production, which together with Tritton and Murrawombie form the current Life of Mine plan (LOM). These projects will supplement and then replace production from Tritton and Murrawombie underground mines as the ore reserves from these are exhausted.
The significant capital program for the year just completed has been predominantly focused on continuing to develop Murrawombie. Investment in the underground mining equipment fleet continues as part of sustaining capital with several mid-life rebuilds.
During the 2019, Aeris was granted a new exploration tenement (EL8810) at Tritton. EL8810 covers 296km2, bringing the total Tritton tenement package to 2,160km2. To date over 750,000 tonnes of copper has been discovered in the southern half of the Tritton tenement package while the northern section of the tenement package, including EL8810, remains largely unexplored.
History of the Tritton Copper Operations
Mining within the Tritton area in modern times began in 1992 at the Murrawombie open pit and heap leach operation by the Girilambone Copper Company, a Joint Venture between Straits Resources (now Aeris) and Nord Pacific. The Girilambone Copper Company eventually became a wholly owned subsidiary of Straits Resources. Operations at the Girilambone copper project involved the mining of several open pits to recover copper oxide ore that was treated by heap leach, followed by solvent extraction and electrowinning processing to produce copper cathode. The Murrawombie pit was the largest of the mines. Open pit mining at Girilambone ended in 1999, although copper cathode production continued for two more years.
Leaching of residual copper from the Murrawombie heap leach continues today. Approximately 200 tonnes per year of copper is extracted from the leach solution as a copper cement by reaction with scrap iron.
Exploration by the Straits Resources and Nord Joint Venture resulted in the discovery of the Tritton deposit in 1995 as part of an exploration program focused on the historical Budgerygar and Bonnie Dundee copper-gold mines. Geophysical techniques were successful in identifying the buried Tritton deposit 800 metres to the south of these historical workings. Tritton Resources Limited was formed to develop the Tritton deposit. It was for a time listed as an independent company on the Australian stock exchange, before being privatised as a subsidiary of Straits Resources.