The general managers (GMs) of Cobar’s four main mines and Cobar Shire Council all report the economic future for Cobar is looking bright for the year ahead.
The five GMs were guest speakers at a Back to Business Week dinner hosted by the Cobar Business Association last Wednesday night at the Cobar Bowling & Golf Club.
CSA Mine GM, Pedro Quinteros reported CSA had achieved record production in 2016 and current exploration would increase the life of mine for another 15-20 years.
Mr Quinteros said considerable investment had been made in the mine and outlined the work currently being done on refurbishing the No 1 Shaft, the upgrade to No 2 Shaft and their plans for a new filter plant.
He said the company was investing in sustaining the operation and current projections give the life of mine until 2030.
Endeavor’s GM, Denver D’Angelo said the mine was currently in a ramp-up phase and dispelled the rumours that the mine was closing. He said with $350million worth of infrastructure which would take six years to construct elsewhere, there is a strong incentive to continue operations at the Endeavor site.
He said Endeavor has a considerable investment in the Cobar housing market and despite plans to put up to four houses on the market this year, Mr D’Angelo said they are not interested in selling off any more “and flooding the market”.
Mr D’Angelo spoke about their exploration plans and said production had doubled over the last month.
He said the life of the mine is currently only projected to 2018 but the next plans to be put into action will extend that until 2020.
Peak’s acting GM, Michael Zannes spoke about what Peak are planning on the exploration front. Their current project is the extension to the Great Cobar mine, near the Great Cobar Heritage Centre and slag heap.
This mine will be half a kilometre underground and Peak are confident that the deposit they mine from there will pay for the drive.
The project is currently in the environmental impact study stage.
Mr Zannes also detailed Peak’s support of the Cobar community through their donations totalling $100,000 per year in events and infrastructure with their most recent donation being $30,000 towards the Miner’s Memorial project. The current life of the Peak mine is estimated until the late 2020’s but Mr Zannes said there is still a lot of work to be done.
Hera Mine’s GM, Scott Ramsay said while Hera was only newly established compared to the other three mines, he was confident the mine would also have a long history in Cobar.
Mr Ramsay reports they are currently mining 500 metres below the surface and are getting “spectacular results” with the best gold and silver grade seen in the mine to date. Over the next six months he said they plan to spend $2.5million on exploration and make improvements to the processing plant.
Mr Ramsay is very excited about the mine’s current and future progress and said “great things” were ahead in 2017.
Cobar Shire Council’s GM Peter Vlatko gave a report on council’s current activities and was pleased to announce that it is the first time in a long time that council has been in a position to do some capital works.
He said council is currently working on new plans for the swimming pool; a new mining museum; improvements to the Cobar Youth & Fitness Centre; a new childcare facility; a new airport terminal; improvements at Ward Oval and the main street; and upgrading the car park behind the Grand Hotel.
Mr Vlatko said the NSW Government is talking about investing in regional areas and council wants to have several projects in the ‘shovel ready’ phase for when that money comes through.