Rosslyn Hill Mining’s Paroo Station lead mine has received environmental approval from Western Australia’s state government. It allows a 400-hectare expansion for an on-site hydrometallurgical facility.
Rosslyn Hill Mining’s newest environmental approval from the Western Australia state government will allow a 400-hectare expansion at the company’s Paroo Station lead mine, paving the way for an on-site hydrometallurgical facility.
The facility, which will be used to process lead concentrate, will use “first of its kind technology” to transform lead concentrate into lead ingots.
The technology will use methanesulfonic acid to leach lead from concentrate and recover lead metal through conventional electrowinning equipment and melting, which will create the ingots.
Paroo Station’s expansion will mark the first time a chemical process is used on site to produce metal ingots as opposed to a traditional smelting process.
The new process is considered environmentally safer as lead ingots eliminate the need for transporting concentrate, subsequently removing the risk of accidental spillage.
“It’s a credit to Western Australia that this brand new technology will be used in our state for the first time,” Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement. “Lead continues to play an important role in the renewable energy and electric car industries, so using new and safer technologies to source and refine lead will create more opportunities for its use in future projects.”
It is expected that 70,000 tonnes of lead metal will be processed per year through Rosslyn Hill’s operations. Three hundred jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, with 250 ongoing jobs docketed for operations.
“Further expansion and growth in the battery materials value chain strengthens Western Australia’s position as a global leader in lithium and energy materials and supports this government’s focus in boosting the state’s economy and creating jobs,” McGowan added.
Paroo Station was placed on care and maintenance in early 2015 due to what the company says were “difficult market conditions.” Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommended the site’s proposed expansion in early August, putting the asset’s revival efforts in motion.
“The EPA has assessed plans to revive and expand lead mining operations at Paroo Station and found the proposal to convert lead carbonate concentrate to lead metal bars, known as ingots, avoids the chance of accidental spillage of lead carbonate during transport and creates a safer environmental outcome than the historic lead mining process,” EPA Chair Tom Hatton said in a statement.
“In addition, the use of a hydrometallurgical facility instead of a smelter and the installation of appropriate pollution control equipment on the plant greatly reduces the overall risk of lead exposure.”
Rosslyn Hill is a subsidiary of LeadFX. Formerly listed on the TSX, LeadFX went private earlier this year.
Don’t forget to follow us at @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.