Dugald River to mature late 2018

Posted August 16, 2015

MMG senior geologist Alex Nichol

(MMG senior geologist Alex Nichol)

The first continuous production of zinc concentrates will be shipped from Dugald River in late 2018.

The recent announcement by MMG of its continued investment in the Dugald River lease 65kms north west of Cloncurry is a bright light in an otherwise depressed industry.

The expected remaining cost of the project to first shipment of concentrate is around US$750 million plus interest costs.

MMG Senior Mine Geologist Alex Nichol told the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy NQ Branch regional mining conference that trial stoping over the past 12 months had proved up the preferred mining method.

The building of plant would be undertaken in 2017 and would ramp up to 19mt/year concentrate from 2019, Mr Nichol said.

The Dugald River deposit was discovered in 1890 but development has eluded consecutive owners to this point.

Mr Nichol described the ore body as having a large surface area to volume ratio with a strike ranging over two kilometres to a depth of 1200m and a width of between one and 35m.

The updated plan for Dugald River released last month includes a mine production rate of 1.5mt/year, construction of a concentrator and annual production of approximately 160,000 tonnes of zinc in zinc concentrate, plus by-products, over an estimated 28 year mine life.

This places Dugald River within the world’s top ten zinc mines when operational, MMG Chief Executive Officer Andrew Michelmore said last month.

“We are positive about the long-term fundamentals for zinc,” Mr Michelmore said.

“This decision reflects our confidence in zinc at a time of shrinking global supply. Dugald River remains one of the world’s highest grade undeveloped zinc deposits.

“Under the updated plan, Dugald River will come online at around a time when significant global zinc supply will disappear through mine closures.”

Trial mining had delivered a stockpile of around 460,000t to date, said Mr Nichol.

The ore will be trucked 300kms north for further processing at the company’s Century plant.

Mining from the open cut pit at Century will finish in November after more than 20 years operation.




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