Can you give an overview of the Robinson mine and the property’s extensive history?
The Robinson mine is a historic property with gold and silver mining operations starting in the 1860s. By the early 1900s, mining in the area transitioned from precious metals to almost exclusively on copper. The Robinson mine started with open pit copper mining operations in 1906, which continued off and on based on copper prices under various owners until 2004 when Quadra Mining bought Robinson. It reopened the mine later that year with the site being in continuous operation since then. In 2012, QuadraFNX was acquired by KGHM, who is still the owner today.
Can you underline some of KGHM’s recent investments at the Robinson mine?
KGHM has been proactive in investing in Robinson, ensuring that the site has the necessary tools to remain an economically value-generating mine. Since 2012, there have been several life of mine extensions which required investments into infrastructure such as equipment and our tailings storage facility. As a legacy site, our company has invested significant funds on reclamation activities and remediating historical issues that predate modern mining laws. In the last three years, we have won two separate reclamation awards from our governmental entities for the reclamation work of these legacy sites.
What have been the key operational and production highlights at Robinson over the last two years?
We prioritized the health and safety of the Robinson team and the community while maintaining and exceeding production targets. Our mine life was extended for five years, and we have also invested in new equipment during this challenging time. We continued delineation drilling within our current pits, and we have plans for more drilling in the future. In 2021, we also commenced with a near mine exploration program in Lane Valley, just northwest of the Robinson mine, which will be completed in the coming years.
In addition, we recently received a new approved environmental impact statement (EIS) from the Bureau of Land Management. We were able to accomplish this permitting action in only eighteen months due to the strong community support we received during the process.
Can you tell us about the new technologies that have been implemented at the Robinson mine?
KGHM has always been an adopter of proven technology to advance our operations. To that end, we have commissioned an autonomous drill and are in the process of perfecting the functionality of the equipment. We are also in the process of commissioning a hybrid shovel which will not only provide costs savings, but also help us to achieve emission reduction targets. In addition, we have a telemetry system at our tailings storage facility and an innovative water pumping system to improve our water management efficiencies through digital monitoring.
What socio-economic impact does the Robinson mine have in White Pine County?
Robinson mine is the largest private employer within White Pine County and we directly employ 15% of the community’s workforce. During the pandemic, the unemployment rate in White Pine Country remained very low at approximately 3% due to mining being deemed essential. The mining industry pays the most property taxes in the County and we also pay Nevada net proceeds, of which a significant amount stays within the County, supporting schools, hospitals and other governmental services. We donate considerable amounts to local organizations and we also offer 12 hours paid volunteer time per year to our employees where they can volunteer at a local community organization of their choosing.
What are the company’s main goals for the next three years?
Robinson has a strong track record and we intend to continue the good momentum by maintaining safe operations and exceeding the expectations of our stakeholders. In the next three years, we will continue to work to extend our life of mine plans as we convert resources to reserves within our district. We will focus on workforce development and the recruiting and retention of employees. One of the pillars of our strategy is the education of children within our community – we will continue supporting everything from geology units in third grade classrooms to professional welders supporting the welding classes in the high school and financial support of the Diesel Mechanic program at Great Basin College. Mining is our future, and we are energized by our responsibility of educating the next generation about the importance of mining and the great careers in the industry.