New Century Resources has reiterated the potential for an expansion project at the Century zinc mine in Queensland after achieving a strong March quarter.
The company reported a 50 per cent increase in zinc production to 18,170 tonnes during the quarter at an average recovery rate of 54 per cent.
New Century intends to expand its output using in-situ zinc and lead resources from tailings at the Century mine’s processing plant.
The company announced that it expected to release its pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the expansion in the second quarter of this year.
“New Century considers that the PFS has the potential to increase the previously announced (tailings only) 6.3-year mine life and 264,000 [tonnes a year] full scale zinc metal production,” the company said.
“Different blending strategies, as well as plant configurations, are being investigated to determine the optimum pathway for zinc and lead production from the expanded operations.”
New Century is progressing the mine to a stage two target of 15 million tonnes a year once the initial target of eight million tonnes a year has been achieved.
The company stated that should it elect to expand operations using the in-situ resources, it will refurbish the Century plant’s existing carbon and lead flotation circuits.
New Century restarted the mine in September 2018, more than two years after it was placed on care and maintenance by previous owner, MMG.
The site has over 2.2 million tonnes of JORC-compliant, zinc metal equivalent resources from mineralised tailings and over one million tonnes of hard-rock zinc and lead resources at three metal deposits.