MMG to build $1.4bn zinc mine in QLD

MMG is set to build a $1.4 billion zinc mine in northwest Queensland.

The Dugald River zinc project, located 65 kilometres north-west of Cloncurry, will have annual production of approximately 160,000 tonnes of zinc, plus by-products, over an estimated 28 year mine life.

The mine was first touted by MMG in 2012, but deferred in 2013 so the company could review the proposed mine development method.

MMG chief executive Andrew Michelmore said the updated development plan reflects a careful response to mine geotechnical conditions.

“By taking the time to understand the unique characteristics of the ore body, we now have a robust plan for Dugald River that maximises long-term value for shareholders," Michelmore said.

Construction of the mine is set to commence in 2016, with first production slated for 2018.

Michelmore said he is confident this timeline will give the zinc price a chance to recover, with a number of mine closures around the world expected to lead to an increase in demand.

"We are positive about the long-term fundamentals for zinc,"  Michelmore said.

"This decision reflects our confidence in zinc at a time of shrinking global supply. Dugald River remains one of the world’s highest grade undeveloped zinc deposits.

“Dugald River will come online at around a time when significant global zinc supply will disappear through mine closures.”

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