Broken Hill (Thackaringa) Project

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
  • Cobalt
  • Sulphur
  • Nickel
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe operation is large-scale and will be one of the largest cobalt producers in the world. In fact, if Broken Hill were a country, it would rank number 5 for cobalt production.

The Broken Hill Cobalt Project is seeking State Significant Development approval from the NSW Government and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently being prepared. The NSW Government will regulate the site via a series of permits or licenses, such as:
- Environment Protection License (Environment Protection Authority);
- Mining Lease (Regional NSW);
- Water Access Licenses (Natural Resources Access Regulator).


Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. (operator) 100 % Direct
Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. is pleased to now have 100% of the Broken Hill (Thackaringa) Cobalt Project.

Deposit type

  • Metamorphic hosted


The BHCP is located in a deformed and metamorphosed Proterozoic supracrustal succession named the Willyama Supergroup, which is exposed as several inliers in western New South Wales, including the Broken Hill Block (Willis, et al., 1982).

The project area covers portions of the Broken Hill and Thackaringa group successions which host the majority of mineralisation in the region, including the Broken Hill base metal deposit. The Sundown Group suite is also present. The extensive sequence of quartz-albite-plagioclase rock that hosts the cobaltiferous pyrite mineralisation is interpreted as belonging to the Himalaya Formation, which is stratigraphically at the top of the Thackaringa Group.

Exploration by COB has been focused on the discovery and definition of cobaltiferous pyrite deposits.

Mineralisation Style
The BHCP mineral deposits (Pyrite Hill, Big Hill and Railway) are characterised by large tonnage cobaltiferous pyrite mineralization hosted within siliceous albitic gneisses and schists of the Himalaya Formation.

Cobalt mineralisation exists within extensive pyritic horizons where cobalt is present within the pyrite lattice. Mineralogical studies have indicated the majority of cobalt (~85%) is found in solid solution with primary pyrite (Henley 1998).

A strong correlation between pyrite content and cobalt grade is observed.

The Thackaringa mineralisation comprises stratabound units of moderate to steeply dipping, pyritic quartz-albite gneiss that form three deposits referred to herein as Pyrite Hill, Big Hill and Railway. Pyrite Hill is geographically separate from the other deposits. Conversely, Big Hill and Railway are considered to reflect the same mineralised body, separated by a zone of low grade mineralisation and minor structural dislocation.

Controls on mineralisation are considered to include:

- Primary foliation of the host lithology as a fluid flow pathway and depositional site for the cobaltiferous pyrite; and
- Bedding parallel shear zones, generally occurring along the quartz-albite gneiss contact, responsible for evident fold thickening.

Pyrite Hill
The Pyrite Hill deposit extends over 1.2 km along strike, approximately 300 m down dip and varies in thickness from approximately 10 to 100 m. Mineralisation is hosted by quartz-albite gneiss with both the hanging wall and footwall comprised of quartz-albite-biotite gneiss with lesser quartz-albite gneiss and amphibolite sills.

The northern-western extent of the deposit is generally undeformed and dips at approximately 50° to the northeast. In the central part of the deposit, rapid thickening of mineralisation, resultant of near isoclinal folding, occurs in correlation with a general change in strike to the south and coincident steepening of dip to approximately 60° to the east.

The Mineral Resource estimate extends from the base of partial oxidation (approximately 20–25 m below surface) to 35mRL (approximately 270 m below surface).

Big Hill
The Big Hill deposit has an overall strike length of 1.2 km and comprises two mineralised zones separated by a late stage dextral fault with approximately 150 m of apparent displacement. The southwestern zone occurs over 800 m of strike varying in thickness from 30–100 m due to steep isoclinal folding. The northern-eastern zone is a relatively linear, steeply dipping zone extending for some 400 m with an average thickness of 35–40 m.

The base of partial oxidation occurs approximately 10–25 m below surface with narrow zones of deeper, structurally controlled oxidation evident at the southern extent of the deposit. The Mineral Resource estimate extends from the base of partial oxidation to 150 mRL (approximately 150 m below surface).

The Railway deposit is considered a north-eastern extension of the Big Hill deposit with continuous mineralisation observed over some 2.5 km. The southern extent of the deposit is generally linear with an average thickness of 30 m increasing to approximately 60 m in correlation with evidently upright isoclinal folding. The central part of the deposit is characterised by extensive ductile deformation and complex folding resulting in a rapid thickening of mineralisation up to 300 m. At the northern-eastern extent, the mineralisation is increasingly discontinuous, comprising a series or narrow lenses within a weakening low grade mineralised envelope.

The base of partial oxidation generally occurs approximately 15–20 m below surface. The Mineral Resource estimate extends from the base of partial oxidation to 50 mRL (approximately 230 m below surface) with a section between 6540950mN and 6451400mN at 0 mRL (approximately 300 m below surface).



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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CommodityProductUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Cobalt Metal in sulphate t 3,55057,000
Sulphur kt 289

Operational metrics

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Total tonnes mined, LOM  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2020 study.

Production Costs

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Assumed price Sulphur USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Cobalt USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2020 study / presentation.
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

OP mining costs ($/t mined) AUD 2.96  

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Gross revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 7.5% $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 7.5% $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jan 8, 2024

Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2022


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