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HELLYER

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The world class Hellyer underground mine on the West Coast of Tasmania began production in 1989 under the ownership of Aberfoyle Limited, who later sold the operation to Western Metals Resources Limited. The Hellyer polymetallic ore body was discovered in 1983. The ore was treated on site with the concentrate taken to Burnie for shipment out of the state. Operations ceased at the Hellyer Mine in 2000 when economically available ore at the site became exhausted.


The Hellyer Mine produced 15 million tonnes of ore in the 11 years it was in operation that yielded 601,000 tonnes of bulk concentrate, 2.7 million tonnes of zinc concentrate and 728,000 tonnes of lead concentrate. During this period the mine employed 300 personnel and created $1.3 billion in gross revenue.


When the Hellyer Mine ceased operation the state of the art processing plant was placed on care and maintenance in preparation for ongoing use should other ore bodies in the area become economically feasible to mine in the future. Feasibility studies were undertaken and a demonstration plant constructed on site to assess the viability of mining tailings left over from the earlier mining activity. There were 11 million tonnes of mine tailings at the Hellyer site grading 2.7 grams a tonne of gold and three percent zinc.


The refurbishment of the Hellyer ore processing plant, following the closure of the mine, was completed in 2007 by the new owner of the project, Intec Limited, this allowed the re-treatment of the tailings to go ahead as planned. An amount of 1.129 million tonnes of tailings were put through the upgraded plant from 2007 to 2008 that yielded 52,600 tonnes of concentrate that produced 10 kilograms of silver, 6,600 tonnes of lead and 19,200 tonnes of zinc. When the tailings treatment program ceased in 2008 the processing plant was sold to Bass Metals Limited who were developing a new mine nearby at the Fossey deposit. However, mining operation at this mine was ill-fated and it is currently suspended.


Bass Metals, a base metals and gold mining company, unfortunately found itself in the position where it was having trouble meeting all its financial obligations, after costs blew out at its Fossey mine development and the Hellyer Mine processing plant, because of technical problems that crimped cash flow availability from its concentrate sales. Bass Metals finally decided to trade itself out of difficulties but were finally forced to cease all work at the Hellyer and Fossey projects.


In January 2012 shares in Bass Metals was suspended from trading. The value of Bass Metals had been seriously effected as a result of operational problems that occurred at the Hellyer Mine. For this reason it was thought desirable to focus attention on developing the Fossey deposit as a means of reducing costs. In July 2012 an agreement was reached to sell the Hellyer Mill Operations Pty Ltd to Singapore based investment and development company, LionGold Corporation Limited. On September 4, 2012 it was announced LionGold had withdrawn their interest in the Hellyer deal and the sale agreement was terminated.

Update- In January 2013 Bass Metals entered into a binding Heads of Agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary, Hellyer Mill Operations Pty Ltd (HMO), to Ivy Resources Pty Ltd (Ivy or Ivy Resources), a private resource development company, the acquisition price is $11,000,000.

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