Exploration investment at Century mine

09 Sep 2009 12:00 AMMedia Release

An exploration program will commence this week at MMG’s Century mine in north-west Queensland to test several geological targets on the Century mine lease and adjacent exploration leases. The $6 million, 18 month program aims to identify new zinc deposits for future feed sources for the Century processing operations.

The program demonstrates MMG’s commitment to exhaustively explore all leases near the mine to identify alternative feed sources that could continue utilisation of the site’s infrastructure beyond the current life of mine said Executive General Manager Exploration Steve Ryan.

“The current defined deposit at Century takes the operation’s mine life through to approximately 2015 but to maximise the potential of our processing plant at Lawn Hill and port facilities at Karumba it is important we make every effort to identify any potential future ore supply nearby," said Mr Ryan.

The initial program will involve two diamond drill rigs that will drill over 9,500 metres of core over the next four months as well as soil and rock chip sampling and geological mapping. The program will commence this week and run for the remainder of the dry season this year, picking up again in next year’s dry season.

Employing approximately 13 employee and contractor positions this is the first significant investment by MMG in exploration work in the Century area since the purchase of the asset by China Minmetals from OZ Minerals in June this year.

Century General Manager John Lamb said he was pleased to see this level of investment in the future of the mine.

“This program shows our commitment to continuing to be a major local miner for the foreseeable future.”

Century mine operates under the Gulf Communities Agreement, a unique tripartite agreement between the mine, Queensland Government and local Native Title holders. Historical in its size and scope, the agreement is a living document providing ongoing compensation, employment, training and business opportunities to the Native Title parties to the agreement as well as the protection of the environmental and cultural sites.

Heritage monitors will be engaged to ensure that culturally significant sites are not disturbed through the program.  

“MMG takes its commitments to the Traditional Owners of the land around Century mine very seriously. Engaging local representatives in this exploration work is fundamental to the ongoing success of our partnership with local communities in the lower Gulf,” said Mr Ryan.

MMG is the world’s second largest producer of zinc as well as a substantial producer of copper, lead, gold and silver. MMG is headquartered in Melbourne and owned by China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Co., Ltd, a division of China Minmetals Corporation.

For more information:

Sally Cox
Communications Manager
T 61 3 9288 0850 / 0417 144 524