MMG has been given approval to begin mining one of the world's largest zinc deposits.
The Queensland state government has granted final environmental approvals for MMG's Dugald River mine north of Cloncurry, according to the ABC.
It initially released its environmental impact statements early last year.
MMG spokesman Brice Loveday said the company is looking for other supplies as their Century zinc mine, in the lower Gulf, is due to close in four years.
“As much as a million tonnes year of zinc might be taken out of the market by 2015 or so, so the world will be looking for new supplies of zinc and Dugald River will be a very important contributor to that when it comes online," he said.
“The Dugald River project, which has been around for awhile, will, when it’s in production, be producing around 20 000 tonnes a year of zinc and approximately 900 000 ounces of silver for approximately 23 years based on what we know so far, so it’s a very significant project."
Sally Cox from MMG yesterday told the ABC that "now the project will … go to a final decision from our board on whether to develop the project".
"There may be some minor regulatory approvals still to follow through following the environmental authority but this is one of the major steps.
"It's one of the world's largest and highest grade lead, zinc and silver deposits."
The project capital costs are expected to be between US$1 to $1.25 billion.
In February MMG awarded the $100 million underground mining contract for Dugald to Barminco.