Glencore has announced the Mount Isa Mines’ Black Star zinc mine has transitioned into care and maintenance after mining out its existing reserve.
The open cut mine, in north-west Queensland, began production in 2004 and was initially expected to have an eight-year operational life. It has since produced approximately 40 million tonnes of ore, 1.75 million tonnes of contained zinc metal and nearly one million tonnes of contained lead metal.
Glencore implemented a staged workforce transition program over the past three years, with many employees redeployed to other Glencore operations.
Greg Ashe, Glencore’s Chief Operating Officer for Zinc Assets Australia, applauded the workers for their efforts in sustaining the mine’s operations.
“The Black Star workforce overcame a number of unique geotechnical and mining challenges presented by an old expansive network of abandoned underground workings,” he said.
“The team adopted an innovative approach to void analysis, which enabled the safe and sustainable recovery of a valuable mineral resource that would otherwise have been inaccessible.”
He also applauded the team’s contribution to both the local community and the industry.
Earlier this year Evolution Mining acquired a 30 per cent stake in Glencore’s Ernest Henry copper gold mine in QLD; with Glencore to continue controlling the site’s day to day operations.