Another Century mine contract set to be awarded

New Century Resources has chosen National Pump & Energy (NPE) and Paragon Tailings as its preferred contractors for hydraulic mining services at the Century zinc mine tailings deposit in Queensland.

The company has determined hydraulic mining as the optimal method for extraction of the Century tailings deposit. It believes this method will allow efficient recovery of ore and transport via existing site slurry piping infrastructure to the Century processing plant.

NPE and Paragon Tailings have been selected as the preferred contractors for the supply, operation and maintenance of the hydraulic mining operations.

The contractors have proposed a two duty, two standby cannon arrangement for the initial 8 million tonne a year (Mt/y) operation, before adding another two duty cannons to ramp up operations to 15Mt/y.

According to New Century, NPE and Paragon will apply “the current best-in-class hydraulic mining technology”, through the use of track mounted, remote controlled water cannons.

New Century chief operating officer Barry Harris said the hydraulic mining due diligence process and operational site visits provided in-depth exposure to a number of large-scale hydraulic mining operations around the world.

He explained this allowed “the company to have full confidence in NPE and Paragon’s operational proposal for the Century tailings deposit.”

“Cost-effective hydraulic mining is an integral part of the company’s projected lowest cost quartile operations at the Century tailings deposit, which in turn maximises potential for high margins, and strong shareholder returns,” Harris said.

New Century expects to launch production at Century this July. It will ramp up operations to 15Mt/y over the following 15 months.

The commercial terms of the hydraulic mining services contract are in line with the costs outlined in the Century restart feasibility study, New Century added. The study stated that capital costs for the initial phase of hydraulic mining would be $25 million, while the ramp up phase would cost $21.9 million.

New Century also awarded Santos with a $100 million contract to supply gas to its Mt Isa power generation facilities for the Century mine last week. It plans to award more contracts for the operation in the coming months.

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