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Hillgrove boss and 85 workers depart as Kanmantoo mine winds down


The jobs of 85 Hillgrove Resources workers at the Kanmantoo copper-gold mine will cease from today, with CEO Steve McClare to follow this week, as the company winds down the operation.

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The mine has been scaling down in recent months, with 35 jobs already left unfilled.

Energy giant AGL has secured the right to transform the open pit site into a pumped hydro facility, with Hillgrove to retain processing and mining rights outside the giant pit.

In a statement to the ASX today, Hillgrove said McClare – who was appointed CEO and managing director four years ago next month and had previously served as General Manager Operations at the Kanmantoo mine since 2012 – “will step down from his role… in keeping with the scale down of operations at Kanmantoo and following the successful sale of the Pumped Hydro Energy Storage project rights to AGL Energy Limited”.

“With large scale mining at the Kanmantoo open pit copper mine coming to an end, 85 employees are ceasing employment at Kanmantoo today, on top of the 35 employees who have left and not been replaced over the past few months,” the company said.

“The remaining workforce will focus largely on the final extraction of ore from the pit by the end of May and the processing of stockpiled ore during the next 12 months, together with site rehabilitation works, exploration activities and facilitating the development of the [hydro] project.”

Chair John Gooding said McClare had established “a pipeline of growth projects for the future”.

“Steve steered the company through some very dark days but he has inspired our employees with his work ethic and creativity and has always maintained his optimism about, and dedication to, Hillgrove,” he said in a statement.

McClare will officially leave the company on May 2 “to pursue other opportunities”.

His replacement as Kanmantoo’s general manager, Lachlan Wallace, will replace him as CEO on an interim basis.

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