Zinc Production Kicks Off at Queensland’s Century Mine

- August 9th, 2018

Picking up where MMG left off in 2016, New Century Resources has officially begun operations at the newly restarted Century zinc mine in Queensland, Australia.

New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) has started hydraulic mining operations at its Century zinc mine in Queensland, Australia.

According to a release from the company, refurbishment and commissioning costs for the mine’s restart are on track with estimates generated in a restart feasibility study (RFS). An additional monthly development update will be provided at the end of August.

The Century mine has an estimated production capacity of 264,000 tonnes per year for zinc and 3 million ounces per year for silver over a mine life of just over six years. The company is also currently working on exploration programs throughout the asset’s 1,800-square-kilometer tenement package.

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“It is a fantastic achievement by the New Century team and our business partners to deliver the restart of operations at Century both on time and budget,” New Century Managing Director Patrick Walta said in a statement. “We are now focused on the next phase of Century development, ramping up operations to become one of the world’s top zinc producers.”

The RFS, released in November 2017, indicates that the capital costs for the mine’s restart were around AU$50 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were AU$449 million and AU$579 million for base-case zinc and optimistic zinc, respectively.

The Century mine began production in 1999 and operated for 16 years, becoming one of the largest zinc mines in the world. In 2016, MMG (HKEX:1208) ended operations at the mine after depleting Century’s ore reserves, with New Century later acquiring the mine and exploring the leftover mineral assets.

Remaining infrastructure at the site from MMG’s work provided a starting point for New Century’s operations, including a mineral flotation processing plant, a 700-person accommodation camp, offices, an airport, a full laboratory and grid power connectivity.

Also included was a 304-kilometer underground slurry pipeline that connects the mine to the Karumba port, along with various assets and facilities at the port itself.

New Century aims to become one of the world’s top 10 zinc producers with the restart of the mine. Its share price was at AU$1.21 at close of day Thursday (August 9), up 0.84 percent. The company is down 11.72 percent year-to-date.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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