Update - Zinc spill from Century pipeline

06 Oct 2009 12:00 AMMedia Release

Further to advice yesterday that a failure in Century mine’s pipeline had resulted in a discharge of zinc concentrate slurry, MMG now provides an update on the situation.

A survey team was dispatched to the location of the pipeline fault early this morning, the priority being to fence off the spill and, if necessary, bund the affected area to ensure it is adequately contained.  The team will then evaluate the situation and develop a comprehensive clean up plan.

While pumping was ceased immediately upon identification of the fault, we estimate that approximately 300 tonnes of zinc slurry, consisting of approximately 160 tonnes of zinc metal, was discharged into the area in the spill. At this point MMG does not know the exact circumstances surrounding the failure of the pipeline and the survey team will be conducting a review of the pipe itself to ascertain the reasons why it failed. 

This is the first time in thirteen years of operation that the mine has experienced a discharge from the pipeline.  Transport of concentrate will not re-commence until we are absolutely certain that we have resolved the situation.

We continue to work closely with the Department of Environment & Resource Management. Representatives of the Department are on site today as part of a pre-arranged visit and so the clean up plan will be developed and executed with direct input from the Department to ensure that any concerns they may have are addressed.
MMG does not believe there is any immediate danger to the environment from the spill.  However, we are committed to fully cleaning the area and will conduct all necessary tests post-clean up to give all stakeholders the confidence that the issue has been adequately dealt with.

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