Attila Resources has agreed to acquire the Century zinc mine in northwest Queensland from MMG as prices for the base metal surge.
The Century mine has been in care and maintenance since early 2016 following the depletion of ore reserves. Rehabilitation of the site is expected to deliver employment and training opportunities to the region.
Attila will acquire the mine and all of its existing infrastructure, including the Karumba Port Facility. The mine includes a 7Mtpa mineral floatation processing plant, a 700-person accommodation camp, offices, an airport, full laboratory and grid power connectivity.
Karumba has concentrate dewatering and drying operations, an 80,000-tonne mechanised storage shed, ship-loading facility, and a 5000-tonne self-propelled, self-discharging maritime transhipment vessel.
The mine still contains 2.5Mt of JORC compliant zinc metal equivalent in its tailings, and has several undeveloped phosphate deposits.
The acquisition comes after MMG signed an agreement transferring the mine to Century Bull subsidiary Century Mine Rehabilitation Project, for further rehabilitation.
Century Bull specialises in economic rehabilitation; reprocessing tailings to generate economic return, while remediating historic mine sites. It has also been involved in other Queensland projects, including the the Mt Morgan tailings rehabilitation project.
It entered an earn-in agreement with Attila for ongoing funding of the proposed economic rehabilitation activities at the Century zinc mine.
Under this agreement, Century Bull will conduct the extraction of metal from evaporation dam water and will also complete a bankable feasibility study into reprocessing zinc tailings.
This is set to bring generate renewed employment, training and business opportunities for Century and its surrounding communities.
Century Bull will have responsibility and accountability over the site’s rehabilitation and MMG will provide financial support, providing $34 million toward future rehabilitation and care and maintenance activities.
MMG chief executive officer Jerry Jiao called this ‘renewed future’ of Century a great outcome for Queensland.
“It provides new life for the substantial Century assets, while supporting dedicated rehabilitation and ongoing employment, training and business opportunities,” Jiao said.
“Under this new plan, Century Bull will continue to generate employment and training opportunities and other ongoing benefits to the communities and businesses of the Lower Gulf.”
The Century mine previously employed more than 1000 people from the remote Gulf communities.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed MMG’s decision to transfer the mine to Century Mine Rehabilitation Project.
QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said it showed a practical commitment of MMG to the local community and the environment.
“It provides a new economic opportunity for the mine while also supporting a dedicated rehabilitation plan,” he said.
He added that it was a ‘win-win’ for both the region and rehabilitation.