Ashton Mining Limited have applied for MLN1154, covering their existing exploration leases ERL141, ERL142 and SEL8630, to develop the Merlin Diamond Project, located approximately 75 kilometres SSE by road from the McArthur River Mine, Northern Territory.
Ashton Mining Limited proposes to develop six open pits and two bulk sample pits over a period of 2.5 years. Ashton Mining Limited will mine 730,000 cubic metres of ore by open cut method from the eight pits for processing on site. The tailings produced in processing will be discharged to two tailings dams (fine and coarse tailings).
It is estimated that approximately 4.8 million cubic metres of waste rock will be produced from the eight pits and this will be placed into four above ground dumps located adjacent to the pits.
All of the kimberlite pipes to be mined in this first stage have the potential for future expansion and may lead to the eventual expansion of the open pits and/or underground mining at a future stage. The surrounding area also has significant exploration potential and additional kimberlite pipes may be discovered in the area.