Something old; something new: jobs flow as mine ‘recycled’

14 September 2018

Jobs and a new export product are flowing as a $50 million project brings new life to a former north-west Queensland mine.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today congratulated New Century Resources on the official opening of its $50 million investment based on a former zinc mine at Lawn Hill.

The project includes the mine site at Lawn Hill, where New Century re-processes zinc tailings, a 304 kilometre pipeline to transport zinc slurry, and a port facility at Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“This model of economic rehabilitation is an exciting new approach to dealing with mine sites once they have concluded their original intended purpose,” Dr Lynham said.

“It’s the ultimate recycling story, and a tangible boost and security to the north-west economy, where it’s creating 250 local jobs.

“This is welcome investment and jobs and clear, dollar-driven testament to the ongoing force that is the state’s north west minerals province.”

New Century’s Managing Director Patrick Walta said at full production the mine would extract zinc concentrate for export from 15 million tonnes of tailings waste per annum.

"Our business model focusses on extracting value from the remaining assets on the Century Mine to complete the site’s required rehabilitation in a profitable and timely manner,” Mr Walta said.

“We hope to revolutionise the way companies look at mine site rehabilitation in the future.

“This operation will generate around 250 jobs in north west Queensland while maintaining a strong connection to the region’s Traditional Owners through ongoing implementation of Native Title Agreements and through the execution of new partnership agreements with the Waanyi People.

“It also has workers on site, at the Karumba port and in the surrounding supply chain.

“We expect the first shipments of high grade zinc concentrate to be leaving the site and on its way to the Karumba port later this year.”

Dr Lynham said the project was using powered Queensland gas, having secured a gas agreement with Santos earlier in the year.

“This agreement has seen the supply of around 9 petajoules of gas to meet the electricity demands of New Century Resources tailings operation,” Dr Lynham said.

“I congratulate New Century Resources on its dogged determination in getting this project off the ground in a remote corner of the state.”

Source: Queensland Government media statements