Broken Hill Cobalt Project
The Broken Hill Cobalt Project covers an area of 63km2 and is located in western New South Wales (23km west of Broken Hill).
The Broken Hill Cobalt Project is located approximately 1,000km and 500km from Sydney and Adelaide respectively by road and approximately 400km from the Spencer Gulf (Port Pirie) by rail. The project location is shown below.
The relative location of the three deposits lies within 5km of the Broken Hill to Port Pirie rail line, with Pyrite Hill (at the western end) within 1km of an existing railway siding. The figure below shows the Broken Hill Cobalt Project as a district view.
Climate and Regional Geology
Broken Hill possesses a hot, dry climate and lies within the New South Wales arid zone. The table below shows the monthly temperature and rainfall statistics for Broken Hill.
The Broken Hill region in western New South Wales is also geologically unique. The western half is composed of ancient basement rocks of the Adelaide Fold Belt, and the eastern half is the edge of the much younger rocks of the Tasman Fold Belt.
Many of the rocks and minerals found in the region are of considerable interest and economic importance. The Barrier Ranges, surrounding Broken Hill, are a block of metamorphic and deformed sedimentary rocks forming a series of northeast and northwest trending ridges rising up to 300m above the surrounding plains. Bedrock includes schist and gneiss, intrusive granites, amphibolites and coarse pegmatites. Dominant vegetation includes belah, rosewood (Heterodendrum oleifolium), occasional beefwood (Grevillea striata) and leopardwood (Flindersia maculata). The figure shows a typical landform and vegetation view for the Broken Hill Cobalt Project.
The Broken Hill Cobalt Project – recent development work
The portfolio of tenements comprises: Exploration Licence 6622 (1992) (EL 6622), Exploration Licence 8143 (EL8143), Mining Lease 86 (1973) (ML 86) and Mining Lease 87 (1973) (ML 87) are located approximately 23 km west south west of Broken Hill. All leases are 100% owned by Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd and are listed in the table below.
Broken Hill – Electricity
Broken Hill is located at the edge of the National Electricity Market high voltage grid. Typically, edge of grid townships represent high cost to serve commitments of the networks. However the (December 2015) completion of the (AGL) Broken Hill Solar Farm (53MW), located just 5 km west of Broken Hill, assisted by Federal Government renewable energy funding, has now created a peak excess of power to the town and local environments. Potential development of Silverton Wind Farm (25km NW of Broken Hill) producing 200MW will further amplify this excess. As part of future feasibility studies Cobalt Blue Holdings will determine the optimum configuration of mains (220kV), transmission wiring (approximately 20 kilometres to site) and substations in order to support its objectives. The figure below shows the proximity of the Broken Hill Cobalt Project to 220kV mains power lines (National Electricity Market).
The Broken Hill to Port Pirie railway
The Broken Hill to Port Pirie train line commenced construction in 1875, to support agricultural exports from rural South Australia, though initially the line terminated at the SA-NSW border. With the discovery of Broken Hill ore (1883) the line was extend primarily to transport the ore from the newly founded mining company’s (Broken Hill Proprietary Limited) mine to their smelter in Port Pirie and open up areas in the North East to settlement. The line was recognised as the busiest single track railway in the world between 1911 and 1914. In 1923 it was recorded that 102 trains passed in and out of the Peterborough station during a 24 hour period.
Today, the rail gauge has been standardised/upgraded and is 407km in length.
Communications – Digital and Voice
The entirety of the Broken Hill Cobalt Project is covered by Telstra 3G voice and data communications as shown in the Telstra supplied map in Figure 9. The coverage provides full voice, text and data coverage for the site and whilst travelling to/from Broken Hill.
Broken Hill – Water
The local reticulated water supply is operated by Essential Water and is shown on the previous page in Figure 10 – The Broken Hill Cobalt Project – Essential Water Supply Schematic. The reticulated supply consists of both raw water and filtered water. As part of future feasibility studies, Cobalt Blue Holdings will determine the optimum configuration for supply including drawing water straight from Umberumberka Reservoir, a raw water storage tank within Broken Hill or the use of site groundwater. The first two options will require both a pumping station and a water supply pipeline of approximately 20 kilometres to the site.
NSW Government – Broken Hill Water Infrastructure Upgrade
The NSW Government has announced (16 June 2016) that it will build a new 270km pipeline from the Murray River to secure Broken Hill and surrounding communities long term water supply. The pipeline solution will supply homes and businesses with a reliable, clean and sustainable water source. The pipeline is some 270 kilometres long and will bring water to Broken Hill from the Murray River, near Wentworth, with construction to be completed by end of CY 2018.
Construction of the pipeline is part of a A$500 million investment strategy to secure Broken Hill’s water supplies – representing the largest investment into regional water security on record.
The figure (right) shows the Murray River to Broken Hill pipeline project – overview.