THROUGH its subsidiary MMG, mid-tier mining company Minmetals Resources has received final environmental approvals for its Dugald River lead-zinc-silver project,
65km northwest of Cloncurry in Queensland.
The Hong-Kong listed company was granted final environmental authority from the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection early last month,
setting out licence conditions for the project.
MMG executive general manager, business development Michael Nossal said the company had worked closely with the Queensland Government, local communities and other stakeholders for the past 18 months, and that the environmental approval marked a significant milestone for the project.
Dugald River is one of the world’s largest and highest-grade lead-zinc-silver deposits, with a mineral reserve of 39 million tonnes grading 12.3 per cent zinc, 1.9 per cent lead and 42 grams per tonne of silver.
MMG reported that it would continue pre-commitment activities for the project, including engineering design and the finalisation of agreements for gas, power generation,
access and infrastructure.
The company reported that development of two exploration declines was advancing on schedule and it to intersect the main part of the ore body in the fourth quarter of this year.
“[Dugald River] has the capacity to add approximately 200,000 tonnes of zinc per year to MMG’s production profile, as well as 25,000 tonnes of lead and 900,000 ounces of silver in concentrate per year,” Mr Nossal said.
The project has good access to infrastructure, with a sealed two-lane highway 10km to the east of the site, and a water source is available 10km to the north.
Mr Nossal said the project, which was due for board consideration later this year, “was a significant zinc deposit on a global scale and would be an important new development in Queensland’s northwest minerals province”.
Minmetals, which has an extensive base metal portfolio in Australia and around the world, acquired the MMG group of companies and their operations in December 2010.