MMG’s mine in Rosebery Tasmania is building a new $30 million tailings dam to further extend the mine’s life.
The mine mainly produces lead, zinc, and copper, as well as gold and silver and Tasmania’s Minerals and Energy Council (TMEC) confirmed mineral exploration and investment in new mine developments that were stalled during 2015-16.
Rick Wastford, MMG’s general manager Australian operations, said the new dam was being developed on the site of two prior tailings dams, extending its life for about five years and helping to amend some of its environmental issues, the ABC reported.
“The mine itself is 80 years old, we’re getting deeper, the grades in the ore body are getting lower, which means we produce less metal, but we’re working very hard to increase the throughput to compensate for those lower grades,” he said.
Aaron Brannigan, former general manager of MMG at Rosenbery and chair of TMEC’s environmental committee, said the council was dedicated to maintaining high levels of environmental performance.
He also commented on the necessity of a national inquiry into mine site rehabilitation and closure practices as recommended by the Mineral Policy Institute’s “Ground Truths” report.
“It’s about doing the right thing, regardless of commodity prices,” he said.
“There is a lot of new technology nowadays and we’re most certainly improving things compared with how things were done 50, 70, 100 years ago.
“It’s very important for a mining organisation to consider how it’s going to close and rehabilitate its operation even before it starts mining.”