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The Lanfrachi underground nickel, copper and cobalt mine near Kambalda in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia is owned by Lanfranchi Nickel Mines Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Canadian based mining company Panoramic Resources Limited. Since it became listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2001 it has produced 3,000 tonnes of cobalt, 30,000 tonnes of copper and 114,000 tonnes of nickel from its Lanfranchi and Savannah Western Australian operations. It employs over 500 people and plans to lift production to 20,000 tonnes of nickel a year.

The Lanfranchi Underground Mine Uses Long Hole Open Stoping Methods of Mining
Most of the ore mined at the Lanfranchi Mine is extracted by means of low cost long hole open stoping that is highly mechanised. There is tunnel access to both the top and bottom of each ore block. Mine workers then create a slot raise into which they drill and blast off vertical slabs. After the ore block has been blasted and the slabs extracted the remaining stope is filled with a mix of tailings and cement (paste) to strengthen the void and allow mining of the adjoining ore blocks. The Lanfranchi orebody is a high grade deposit that continues to considerable depth.

Mined ore from Lanfranchi is Taken to Kambalda for Processing
Run of mine (ROM) ore from the Lanfranchi Mine to transported, by road, the 40 kilometres to the BHP Billiton Nickel West Concentrator at Kambalda where it is processed as part of an Ore Tolling and Concentrate Purchase Agreement with BHP Billiton, the former owners of the Lanfranchi Mine. This agreement has recently been extended to 2019. BHP Billiton Nickel West has first right of refusal to take ore in excess of 470,000 tonnes a year from the Lanfranchi operation.

Lanfranchi is Accessed Across the Colourful Lake Lefroy
To reach the Lanfranchi Mine it requires the crossing of Lake Lefroy, a dry salt lake that changes colour throughout the day. Each morning the lake starts the day a pale pink colour with soft blue hues. As the sun rises this changes to red until about midday when it becomes such a brilliant white it can not be looked at without eye protection. Mine workers cross Lake Lefroy each day from Kambalda, a mining centre south of Kalgoorlie, where they are housed, after being flown in from all parts of Australia to complete their rosters.

Lanfranchi is Fully Owned by Panoramic Resources
The Tramway mining tenements, along with the Lanfranchi mining lease, are located approximately 42 kilometres south of Kambalda. Panoramic Resources acquired 75 percent of these assets from BHP Billiton Nickel West, which was originally known as WMC Resources before being taken over by BHP Billiton, in 2004. Panoramic Resources acquired the remaining 25 percent of the Lanfranchi lease and Tramway tenements that were held by Brilliant Mining Corporation in 2009.

Sufficient Reserves at Lanfranchi to Last 10 Years
In 2010 the Lanfranchi mining lease contained a proven and probable reserve of 2.25 million tonnes of mineralised ore containing 2.45 percent nickel which equated to 55,000 tonnes of contained nickel. This gave the mine a life of seven years based on current production. Since that time, however, exploration successes and tenement prospectivity have extended the life of mine to 10 years.

Mining Began in the Tramway Tenements in 1976
WMC Resources first discovered nickel in their Tramway tenements in the 1970's and subsequent exploration revealed no less than ten nickel sulphide ore bodies in the area. They began mining in 1976 at the Edwin shoot. Since then over 100,000 tonnes of nickel has been produced from the tenements.

Update September 2015- Panoramic Resources has suspended remaining activity at the Lanfranchi nickel mine, after announcing plans to discontinue operations in August, due to low nickel prices. The mine will be put into full care and maintenance.

Panoramic Resources

Panoramic Resources owns and operates the Savannah and Lanfranchi underground nickel mines in WA. They also have the Gidgee project and the Mt Henry Joint Venture project, both gold operations in WA. Panoramic Resources employs over 500 people and since listing in 2001 has produced 114,000 tonnes...........read more


Panoramic Resources
Level 9 553 Hay Street
Perth, WA 6000

PO Box Z5487
Perth, WA 6831



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