New Century Resources has returned its highest zinc production at the Century mine in the June quarter, just as the company advances plans to expand the Queensland operation.
The company produced 20,450 tonnes during the quarter, compared with 18,170 tonnes in the previous three-month period, while expanding its operations to three hydraulic mining cannons.
New Century also achieved eight million tonnes a year throughput at the site, its phase one mining rate target.
The company is ramping up towards an efficient eight to nine million tonne operation at Century by early August. It expects to reach the 12 million tonnes a year capacity in the 2020 financial year.
New Century will also focus on achieving steady state recoveries approaching nameplate for the eight to nine million tonne mining rate.
The company will continue plant refurbishment and expansion to double plant capacity and drive down costs during the 2020 financial year.
Its expansion remains subject to completion of a bankable feasibility study and the board’s decision to mine.
The study is based on a designed throughput of 10 million tonnes of tailings and two million tonnes in-situ a year.
New Century maintains its guidance of 23,000–29,000 tonnes of zinc and costs of $US0.95–$1.07 ($1.37–1.54) per pound of payable metal in the September quarter.
Concentrate from the mine also continues to deliver low levels of typical penalty elements common in other zinc concentrates, such as iron, manganese, cadmium, mercury and arsenic.