First ore production has commenced today at Xstrata's Lady Loretta zinc mine, ahead of schedule.
While early production has begun, the first deliveries of zinc, silver, and lead trucked into Mount for processing won't take place until later this month.
The miner has slated full scale production at Lady Loretta for mid next year, with total output estimated at around 1.2 million tonnes of ore per annum.
Xstrata stated that once production is full scale from the mine it will increase its annual zinc output by 20%, while also providing an additional 230 jobs.
Brian Hearne, Xstrata Zinc's COO, said "this project is of significant importance to our production profile and it is certainly a fantastic achievement to have production well ahead of the original schedule.
“We are taking early advantage of Lady Loretta’s higher grade zinc which will improve the overall quality of our Mount Isa resource base. It is all part of our plan to increase mining and concentrate production from the region.”
The Lady Loretta deposit contains an estimated 12.7 million tonnes if lead, zinc, and silver, and is predicted to have a mine life of more than 12 years.