Xstrata to raise production at zinc mine

Xstrata is set to boost ore production by a further third at its Lady Loretta mine in north-west Queensland, Australia.

Xstrata is set to boost ore production by a further third at its Lady Loretta mine in north-west Queensland, Australia.

The greenfield underground zinc-lead-silver mine began ore production ahead of schedule in September and commercial-scale mining is due to commence in mid-2013.

The expanded production rate of 1.6m tonnes a yearis expected by 2016, the firm said.

It was was originally expected to produce one million tonnes of ore a year.

But an internal study identified an opportunity to increase the maximum output of the mine by reviewing stoping sequences over its lifetime.

This is the second project announced this year to accelerate production and the latest expansion increases maximum output by 60% over the original mine plan.

It brings the total investment to develop the mine to date to AU$362.2m, equivalent to $356.4m.

Xstrata Zinc Australia's Chief Operating Officer, Brian Hearne, said the expansion project would allow the earlier recovery of resources from several of Lady Loretta's upper ore bodies and increase the number of stoping levels available in the underground mine in future years.

"To achieve this, we are investing in larger ore handling facilities, increased mobile and fixed plant equipment including an expanded ventilation system, more village accommodation and utilities upgrades," he said.

The Lady Loretta deposit contains an estimated 12.7m tonne reserve, consisting of a 14.2% zinc and 4.8% lead grade, alongside 84 grams of silver per tonne.

MM

Recommended

Share tips of the week – 28 January
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 28 January

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
28 Jan 2022
Which assets will benefit as the “jam tomorrow” bubble pops?
Investment strategy

Which assets will benefit as the “jam tomorrow” bubble pops?

With tech stocks, cryptocurrencies and many other “long duration” investments crashing hard, the “jam tomorrow” bubble looks to be bursting. John Step…
24 Jan 2022
Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now
Share tips

Three innovative Asian stocks to buy now

Professional investor Fay Ren of the Cerno Pacific Fund highlights three of her favourite Asian stocks to buy now
24 Jan 2022
Share tips of the week – 21 January
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 21 January

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
21 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners
Investment strategy

Shareholder capitalism: why we must return power to listed companies’ ultimate owners

Under our system of shareholder capitalism it's not fund managers, it‘s the individual investors – the company's ultimate owners – who should be telli…
24 Jan 2022
Amazon halts plans to ban UK Visa credit card payments
Personal finance

Amazon halts plans to ban UK Visa credit card payments

Amazon has said that it is to shelve its proposed ban on UK customers making payments with Visa credit cards.
17 Jan 2022
Temple Bar’s Ian Lance and Nick Purves: the essence of value investing
Investment strategy

Temple Bar’s Ian Lance and Nick Purves: the essence of value investing

Ian Lance and Nick Purves of the Temple Bar investment trust explain the essence of “value investing” – buying something for less than its intrinsic v…
14 Jan 2022