Stockman Project, Victoria IGO 100%

For the latest update on the Stockman Project, read IGO's announcement on 28 November 2014.


The Stockman Project is located in Eastern Victoria, 460km by road north-east of Melbourne. The proposed project is on mining tenements approximately 19km east-south-east of Benambra in the East Gippsland region. The project encompasses two copper-zinc-lead-silver-gold deposits, Wilga and Currawong, which were discovered in 1978 and 1979. The larger Currawong deposit is intact, whilst a core of copper-rich ore from the Wilga deposit was mined and processed onsite between 1992 and 1996.


The Wilga and Currawong Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits are hosted within the Lachlan Fold Belt geological sequence that contains some of Australia’s premier mines. Both massive sulphide deposits are approximately 350m in strike and dip extent, dip shallowly to the north (local grid) and are located some 100m below the surface. The Currawong deposit comprises five massive sulphide lenses and associated stringer style mineralisation stacked by a series of post-mineralisation faults. Located approximately 4km to the south, the Wilga deposit comprises a single massive sulphide lens with an extensive halo of stringer style mineralisation. The sulphide mineralogy is predominantly pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and galena.
The Currawong massive sulphide lenses contain copper-rich domains that in part reflect primary hydrothermal fluid pathways controlled by original structural trends. Resource drilling by Independence at Stockman has resulted in better definition of structural controls and grade/ metal zonation, as well as some incremental extensions to mineralisation. 
The structural complexity of the larger landholding is being interpreted with a view to gaining a greater understanding of the potential for additional host stratigraphy under barren cover in the vicinity of the two deposits, as well as regionally. The latest drilling results from on-going exploration work on the Stockman Project are available on the Financial Reports page of the Independence Group website.


The scope of the Stockman project encompasses concurrent development of the two underground deposits to feed a central 1.0Mtpa differential flotation concentrator that could produce approximately 150,000tpa of copper and zinc concentrates over a project life of approximately ten years. The development includes recommissioning the Wilga underground mine and developing a new Currawong underground mine. Access to the underground mines will be via small box cut portals in the hillside.
The concentrates will be loaded into sealed, half height sea containers for transport to port, where the concentrate will be loaded into bulk carriers for export to customer smelters in the southern Asia region.
The existing Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) will be expanded for use by the project, whilst water will be sourced from either local onsite sources or, if required, off-site, from the Benambra plains, some 30km from the project site. Other key infrastructure will include a 16MW site gas-fired power station, a 170-person accommodation village for the drive-in drive-out regional workforce, located on private land close to the mine site, and a re-commissioned Telstra communications tower.
An estimated 250 people will be employed onsite once development of the Stockman project has been completed.
The figure below shows a conceptual layout of the proposed concentrator and administration area adjacent to the Currawong deposit:

Artist's impression of proposed Stockman mineral separation plant
Figure - Artist’s impression of proposed Stockman concentrator and administration areas

Following the completion of the FY2013 Feasibility Study (FS) substantial additional work was undertaken during FY2014 on an Optimisation Study (OS) with key results released on 28 November 2014. The feasibility of the project will be updated and reviewed during 2015 as permitting milestones are reached.


An Environment Effects Statement (EES) was prepared for the project between 2010 and 2014 under the Victorian Environment Effects Act 1978. The EES described all aspects of the Stockman project and included the results of some 26 separate studies covering the biophysical, social and economic impacts and benefits from the project. The EES also addressed matters raised by the Commonwealth through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
At the end of 2014, the Company received both a positive assessment from the Victorian Government and project approval, subject to conditions, from the Commonwealth. This allows the project to proceed to the licensing phase, which is expected to take approximately 18 months to conclude.
Throughout the development of the EES, Independence has worked with a wide range of local stakeholders, and the company is committed to ongoing community consultation as the project progresses through further permitting stages during 2015 and beyond.

Future Progress

The next steps for the Stockman Project include finalising the project Workplan in order to be able to commence works on the mining licence, and finalising the Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) to allow infrastructure outside the mine lease – including the accommodation village – to proceed to the final design and licensing. To be finalised, both the Workplan and the PSA must demonstrate compliance with both the State and Commonwealth assessment of the EES.
The Stockman Project is a significant development for Independence and will require a Final Investment Decision (FID) from the Board in order to proceed once planning and permitting have reached the appropriate points. If the Board concludes the project is strategically and financially viable, final construction and permitting is likely to take approximately two years to complete from that time.


If you are interested in the Stockman Project, then contact to auto-register for updates or to have your questions answered.