Glencore has announced plans to close its Mount Isa copper operations in Queensland by the end of 2025, but said it will keep its other metal assets open.
Operating for over 60 years, the company’s copper mine life has already been extended six years past its original life expectancy.
All three copper mines at the Mount Isa operation – Enterprise, X41 and Black Rock – are set to close, as well as the company’s copper concentrator.
Other Mount Isa mines and operations will remain open, including the copper smelter, the George Fisher mine, the zinc-lead concentrator, the lead smelter in Mount Isa, as well as the copper refinery in Townsville.
Glencore said it has conducted a range of studies and reviews seeking to further extend the life of the underground copper mines, but the end of mine life has been confirmed.
Glencore’s Lady Loretta zinc mine, located 140km north-west of Mount Isa, which was a finite orebody with a seven-year mine life, will also close in 2025.
“We know this decision will be disappointing for our people, our suppliers, and the Mount Isa community,” Glencore Australia zinc asset chief operating officer Sam Strohmayr said.
“The reality of mining is that mines have a beginning, middle and end. And unfortunately, after 60 years of operation, Mount Isa’s underground copper operations have now reached that end.
“We want to give our people as much time as possible to consider the best options for them and their families, which is why we are notifying our workers and the community almost two years before these mines close.
“Our focus over the coming months will be to work closely with our people and contractors, our suppliers, and the Mount Isa community to provide support as we move towards closure of these assets.”
Glencore’s Mount Isa underground copper mines, copper concentrator and supporting services currently employ around 1200 people.