The Contribution of Geology to Achieving Mining Performance at Hilton Mine
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1993
The Hilton Mine, 20 km north of Mount Isa was discovered in 1947. The underground mine has been a significant producer from 1989. The long development history is the result of complex orebody geometry, difficult metallurgy, dewatering problems and competition for development funds from the then expanding Isa Mine at Mount Isa. At present it produces 1.4 million tonnes annually. Its 21 million tonnes of reserves are necessary to supplement Isa Mine production.Hilton Mine is located in the Urquhart Shale formation of the Mount Isa Group, within the Mid Proterozoic Mount Isa Inlier. The seven developed orebodies have suffered strong structural deformation. Each orebody has a unique mixture of mineralogy and texture which effects ore value and metallurgical performance. These characteristics have proven useful for correlation purposes.The faulting and folding have caused difficulties with orebody interpretation, geomechanical complexities and has influenced the choice of mining methods: Initial cut and fill and open scope designs have given way to bench mining methods in response to better understanding of the eedloav and economic constraints.