Zinc spill from Century pipeline

05 Oct 2009 12:00 AMMedia Release

Century mine today advised it had detected a failure in the pipeline that transports concentrates in a slurry form from the mine operations at Lawn Hill to the dewatering and port facilities at Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Slurry flow through the pipeline had been stopped as part of normal operations. Whilst attempting to restart the flow earlier this morning, data sensors indicated that a failure had occurred.

Century allocated all necessary resources to identify the fault location, which has occurred at approximately the 115 kilometre point, along the 304 kilometre pipeline, north-east of the mine operations.

Although pumping was ceased immediately on recognising the fault, a discharge of zinc concentrate slurry at the area has resulted. We are currently working to determine the amount of zinc slurry, made up of zinc concentrates and water, that was discharged during the incident.

State authorities including the Department of Environment & Resource Management have been notified and we will continue to keep them informed. Local communities and pastoralists, whose land the pipeline passes through, have also been informed.

MMG is currently working to assess the length of time required to comprehensively and efficiently clean up the spill and repair the fault.

Concentrates at Century move directly from the processing plant into the pipeline, so operations at the mill will be shutdown during the clean up and repair period. Mining operations will continue at the site in the pit with ore stored on the ROM pad.

MMG will continue to meet its customers’ requirements through this period with concentrates currently stored at the Karumba port facility.

For more information:
Sally Cox
Communications Manager
T 61 3 9288 0850 / 0417 144 524