New Century ramps up to capacity despite major downtime

Century's hydraulic mining operations cutting the second pass of the mining block. Image: New Century Resources

New Century Resources has experienced downtime at its Century operation in October due to a large weather event and a safety incident.

A new starter from the Paragon tailings crew suffered from a leg injury, prompting the initial shutdown of the company’s hydraulic mining activities.

They were then operated on a restricted capacity while the safety systems and training were being reviewed by New Century and the Queensland mines inspectorate.

Further downtime was also caused by an unseasonable weather event, where 11 per cent of the average annual rainfall was experienced within 24 hours.

This has caused localised flooding of the company’s hydraulic mining activity and disruption to the main grid power supply.

Despite these events, the company’s hydraulic mining operations achieved another milestone. A more stable feed in the second half of October allowed a total production of 7000 tonnes of concentrate from the tailings operations.

New Century is focused on improving the performance of its load commissioning activities and the consistency of its plant feed for the remainder of the fourth quarter this year.

It has also received additional bids from existing offtake partners above the current long-term contracts, for potential delivery into both Europe and Asia.

New Century said it had completed the signing of a $40 million debt facility with National Australia Bank to fund the mine rehabilitation and tailings reprocessing operation.

In October, New Century’s first shipment of 11,000 tonnes of zinc concentrates represents the maximum available shipping parcel, which exceeded initial shipment expectations by 10 per cent.

It is ramping up to an eight million tonnes per year (Mt/y) mining rate by the end of the first quarter in 2019, before a full ramp up to 15Mt/y by the end of 2019.