Zinc producer Red River Resources has started development work to bring a second mine online at its Thalanga project, south-west of Charters Towers.
The main blast was recently completed at the Far West box cut.
The Far West surface development contract has been awarded to Pybar Mining Services, who are also undertaking underground mining operations at Red River’s West 45 underground mine.
Red River managing director Mel Palancian said the company was still negotiating with parties regarding the underground mining contract for Far West.
The Thalanga operation came online in September last year and is processing zinc at a rate of 300,000-325,000 tonnes per annum.
This is expected to lift when Far West starts producing in early 2019, with the existing West 45 mine expected to continue producing into late 2019.
Mr Palancian said about 155 people were employed at the site in late May, including contractors and exploration drilling crew.
The start of production as Far West is expected to create a further 35-40 jobs.
The company plans to mine its Waterloo deposit next and is continuing exploration work on its project pipeline, which includes the Liontown East discovery.
You can see footage of the box cut blast here: http://www.redriverresources.com.au/gallery/videos.html