Mine restarts and employs 200 people

PRODUCTION of zinc rougher concentrate by reprocessing waste tailings has restarted at the big Century mine northwest of Mount Isa.

New Century Resources, which acquired the operations from MMG, announced the restart yesterday as well as the commencement of hydraulic mining.

New Century managing director Patrick Walta said it was a fantastic achievement by the team and business partners to restart the operations on time and budget.

"We are now focused on the next phase of Century development, ramping up operations to become one of the world's top zinc producers," Mr Walta said.

Century has an estimated production capacity of 264,000 tonnes per annum of zinc and three million ounces of silver over an initial ore reserve mine life of 6.3 years - all based on the reprocessing of tailings.

Mineral resources around and near the mine could extend the mine life further.

The company said the commencement of tailings slurry flotation represented an important milestone by demonstrating the initial proof of concept for the large-scale flotation of ore from tailings deposits.

The mine is employing about 200 people at the mine site and port of Karumba.

New Century has been upgrading the mine's existing infrastructure including large scale multi train flotation plant, 700-person camp, private airport, mining fleet, grid power connection, 304km slurry pipeline and port facility.