The Mount Cuthbert, gold silver and copper mine 100 kilometres north east of Mt Isa, in Queensland is still under care and maintenance while a sale proceeds with an unknown buyer. The sale of the mine was announced in May 2012 and finalisation of the binding agreement is expected to occur on or before March 2013. The Mount Cuthbert open pit mine that is part of the Leichhardt Project is currently owned by Cape Lambert Resources. The sale includes the following:
• A mineral resource inventory that includes primary copper, oxide and transition at the Mount Cuthbert, Ned Kelly, Hidden Treasure, Mighty Atom and Leichhardt deposits that are regarded as prospective for primary copper and oxide deposits
• The Mt Watson open pit 27 kilometres north of the Mount Cuthbert Mine processing plant
• Forty eight granted tenements and three exploration permit applications
• The processing plant at Mount Cuthbert that contains an electrowinning facility able to handle 9,000 tonnes a year of copper cathode
Cape Lambert Resources had previously acquired the Mount Cuthbert/Leichhardt operation from Matrix Metals Limited, in August 2010. The project comes with an existing off take agreement with Glencore International and the mine has been on care and maintenance since being acquired by Cape Lambert from Matrix Metals who were in receivership at the time.
The Mount Cuthbert mine has a long history in Queensland mining, being one of the many flourishing mines of the first half of last century. Production first ceased at Mount Cuthbert after the fall in copper prices at the end of the First World War. A mining town eventually developed at Mount Cuthbert after a Melbourne based syndicate convinced the Queensland government to extend ther railway line from Cloncurry in 1907. The line was completed in 1915 at a time when the demand for copper, because of the war, was at its highest. The line was extended to the copper smelter that began smelting in 1917. The train was used to cart fuel into Mount Cuthbert for the smelter and take the smelted mineral out.
The population in the town at Mount Cuthbert reached 750 in 1918, it boasted several stores, a horse racing club, a hotel and six boarding houses. It all fell apart after the war when world copper prices plummeted. By 1921 the population had fallen to 267. Three years later nearly all the stores had gone and the railway line was closed in 1949.
In April 2011 Cape Lambert Resources began looking at restarting mining at the modernised open pit by evaluating its ongoing potential. In order to do this it began diamond drilling beneath the Mt Watson open pit. This was done with the intention of assessing the level of opportunity of feeding more copper through the Mount Cuthbert copper cathode plant. At the same time it drill tested the Mount Cuthbert leach pads to indicate whether it would be economically viable to once again start irrigating the heaps. This was being done because the copper price had risen 21 percent and looked as if the rise was going to remain high well into the foreseeable future.
The decision was made that the operation had outstanding potential and selling the whole complex would be in the company's interest. This is still the situation at the present time.
Cape Lambert Resources Limited is an Australian investment company. They focus on investing in distressed or undervalued companies and too add value to those companies.