New Century Resources today celebrates the official opening of its Lawn Hill zinc operation after a $50 million investment to breathe new life into the former Century mine site.
Queensland Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham congratulated New Century Resources on the official opening of its tailings reprocessing operation.
“This model of economic rehabilitation is an exciting new approach to dealing with mine sites once they have concluded their original intended purpose,” Dr Lynham said.
“It’s the ultimate recycling story, and a tangible boost and security to the north-west economy, where it’s creating 250 local jobs,” he said.
“This is welcome investment and jobs and clear, dollar-driven testament to the ongoing force that is the state’s north west minerals province.”
New Century managing director Patrick Walta said at full production the mine would extract zinc concentrate for export from 15 million tonnes of tailings waste per annum.
“Our business model focusses on extracting value from the remaining assets on the Century Mine to complete the site’s required rehabilitation in a profitable and timely manner,” Mr Walta said.
“We hope to revolutionise the way companies look at mine site rehabilitation in the future.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan congratulated New Century Resources on re-starting zinc production from the site, initially through harvesting zinc from old tailings.
“I understand the remaining mineral assets include over 2.2 million tonnes of zinc metal equivalent resources located within mineralised tailings, and over 1 million tonnes of zinc and lead resources in the Silver King, South Block and East Fault Block base metal deposits,” he said.
“Also, Century hosts several substantial phosphate deposits which are yet to be developed.
“Restarting of operations and long-term ongoing infrastructure usage also eliminates the need for infrastructure dismantling and final closure activities until potentially well after 2050.
“This is an historic event of real significant to north-western Queensland and I value the opportunity to inspect the site and discuss their future plans with executives of New Century Resources.”
New Century began pumping zinc concentrate along the slurry line to the Karumba port facilities this week.
The first shipments of high-grade zinc concentrate for export are expected later this year.