Crisis felt in Mount Isa

Xstrata Zinc has announced it is placing its Mount Isa Handlebar Hill operation into care and maintenance and abandoning the planned upgrade of its Pac Rim crushing systems.

Xstrata Zinc has announced it is placing its Mount Isa Handlebar Hill operation into care and maintenance and abandoning the planned upgrade of its Pac Rim crushing systems.

According to the company, Handlebar Hill will commence operations when market conditions improve and customer contracts will be honoured using alternate Xstrata zinc mines.

Handlebar Hill’s production will be replaced with an increase in production at Xstrata’s George Fisher underground mine and the Black Star open cut mine in Mount Isa.

These changes will result in an improvement in overall operations in the area, Xstrata executive general manager Kevin Hendry said.

“The initiatives being implemented at Mount Isa will deliver increased volumes of higher grade material from George Fisher, together with higher volumes of feed from the Black Star mine to significantly improve recoveries and operating efficiencies,” he said.

The restructuring will see the loss of 60 jobs from Handlebar Hill.

According to Hendry, Xstrata will work to help those affected by the job cuts.

“We are assisting affected employees to find alternative positions and we have identified a number of opportunities that will be available at Xstrata Zinc or Xstrata Copper Mount Isa operations,” he said.

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