New Century Resources has repaired its ball mill motor at the Century zinc mine in Queensland after severe weather put it out of action in January.
On January 27, the company reported that the root cause of the failure was significant moisture ingress and downgraded its production targets by 20,000 tonnes of zinc metal.
The operation was able to continue in the motor’s absence and bypassed the ball mill for about a month.
The company outlined the plans it has in place to avoid any future loss of this critical infrastructure.
“The damaged ball mill motor was repaired off site and has now been returned to operation. The company’s spare rotable motor continues to undergo its scheduled refurbishment works and is expected back on site in late March/early April,” the company stated.
“In addition, a new custom-built, contemporary designed motor is on order and will become the duty unit upon arrival at the Century mine later this year, ensuring the availability of multiple critical spares and greater long-term reliability from this area of the processing plant infrastructure.”
The motor failure followed a successful quarter for New Century, as zinc prices remained strong, according to managing director Patrick Walta in the company’s December quarterly report.
“At the Century mine, we recorded our highest quarterly average recoveries of 50.7 per cent and we delivered our largest ever shipment in excess of 31,000 wet metric tonnes of zinc concentrate,” Walta said.
“Macro-economic conditions for zinc remained very strong, with the zinc price averaging $US3328 ($4633) per tonne for the December quarter up from $2998 in the previous quarter, and rising further to $3645 into January to date”
The price of zinc stands at $3621/t at time of writing – up 2.48 per cent in 2022.