The addition of major equipment will allow New Century Resources to significantly ramp up production at Century Mine in north-west Queensland.
In its quarterly activities report for December, which was released today, the company said its mining contractors NPE were currently rolling out a third cannon and an additional high-pressure water-pumping train “in order to bring the operation to a consistent rate above a minimum 8Mtpa and up to 10Mtpa”.
“The installation of the third cannon at the hydraulic mining operation forms part of the company’s existing planned overall expansion up to a 15Mtpa mining rate as part of the Phase 2 process (at which time a total of five cannons are scheduled to be in operation),” New Century Resources said in its report.
“The third cannon and pump train are targeted to be online by the end of (the first quarter) 2019.”
Meanwhile, New Century Resources said it had shipped 11,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate to China, with another shipment of 22,000 tonnes scheduled in March.
It said 14,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate had been shipped to Europe, with another shipment of 11,000 tonnes scheduled for next month.
“The first European shipment also represents the first sale to New Century’s long-term offtake partners,” the company said.
“New Century continues to progress the overall concentrate quality towards its steady state specification, following which it anticipates regular supply to all existing long-term offtake partners.
“The focus for the plant during (the first quarter of) 2019 remains on maintaining plant uptime and steady state operations, while continuing the implementation of process improvements, in particular those associated with the cleaner circuit.”
New Century Resources said during the December quarter it had continued the process of plant load commissioning and operational ramp up.
“Strong progress to overall plant availability and stability has been made to date, which is reflected in continued improvements to all production metrics, including the operations now regularly achieving 40-45 per cent total zinc recovery,” it said.