New Century expansion could add seven years of mine life

Overview of existing reserves and resources at the Century zinc mine. Image: New Century Resources

New Century Resources’ proposed expansion of the Century zinc mine in Queensland is showing potential to add an extra $422 million of cashflow and seven years of mine life through to mid-2026.

This expansion study is based on a designed throughput of 10 million tonnes of tailings and two million tonnes in-situ a year.

Once expanded, the Century mine could produce an average of 233,000 tonnes zinc concentrate, 29,000 tonnes lead concentrate and total silver production of up to 18.9 million ounces in zinc and lead concentrates every year.

New Century has focused on restarting operations through the reprocessing of the large tailings ore reserve at the site since acquiring the operation in 2016 from previous owners MMG.

The expansion study forecasts a 37 per cent reduction in total capital costs for tailings phase two ramp up, from $63 million down to $40 million.

New Century’s tailings operations have ramped up to an initial phase one design throughput of eight million tonnes a year.

A feasibility study for the Century expansion is now under way, the results of which will be used to determine a decision to mine. First concentrate production is anticipated to occur from on-site mining as early as 2021.

The Century site is one of the largest zinc mines in the world, producing 475,000 tonnes of zinc and 50,000 tonnes of lead concentrates a year using conventional open-pit mining, grinding and flotation at the Lawn Hill mine site.

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