Green light for zinc-lead mine

XSTRATA Zinc has announced approval of the Handlebar Hill open cut zinc-lead mine north of Mount Isa at a capital cost of $79 million.

XSTRATA Zinc has announced approval of the Handlebar Hill open cut zinc-lead mine north of Mount Isa at a capital cost of $79 million.

Recent drilling, metallurgical testing and design has confirmed a 4.3 million tonne open pit reserve in an area south of the George Fisher underground mine, located 22 kilometres north of Mount Isa.

Ore will be mined at a rate of up to 1.75 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), crushed at George Fisher and trucked to the Mount Isa zinc-lead concentrator from mid 2008.

The concentrator is currently being expanded from 6.5 mtpa to 8 mtpa at a capital cost of $160 million.

Ore is currently supplied to the concentrator from the George Fisher underground and Black Star open cut zinc-lead mines.

The commencement of the Handlebar Hill mine development is subject to approval of a mine plan amendment by the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy.

A contracting firm will commence pre-stripping activities at the mine once approval has been granted. It is expected that there will be around 120 employees working in the open cut mine.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.