Its workforce may be being primarily resourced from Townsville but there is no denying that MMG’s Dugald River mine is going to be a massive project for the north west.
Construction at the zinc mine 60km north of Cloncurry is 62 per cent complete as of end April with production set to start next year.
MMG's Dugald River general manager Pierre Malan told a Mount Isa business breakfast on Tuesday ahead of MineX 2017 that it was the highest grade zinc project currently being developed and when when it is finished Dugald River will be one of the top ten zinc mines in the world.
“We expect to commence first production in the first half of 2018,” Mr Malan told the Department of State Development breakfast at the Civic Centre.
“We announced an optimised plan in June 2016 which supports a throughput of one point seven million tonnes per annum (1.7 Mtpa).”
We expect to commence first production in the first half of 2018Pierre Malan
Mr Malan said the project was of large scale and long life with an annual production of 170kt of zinc over an estimated 25 year mine life.
“It is a marginal operation and will probably always be a marginal operation simply as a result of the type of ore body,” he said.
Mr Malan said work going on at the site included expanding the worker’s camp from 100 permanent rooms to 400, installing 30km of underground haulage, 145km of diamond drilling, the installation of three primary ventilation fans, a high voltage transmission line and 220kv substation, all earth and civil works and a primary crusher, SAG and ball mills and regrind mills.
Mr Malan did not include an update on its fly in fly out plans in his presentation but when asked by the North West Star afterwards he said Townsville was the most cost effective place for a FIFO hub but deploying workers from Mount Isa and Cloncurry was a priority.
“Due to rosters and arrangements on site we are expecting most roles to be residing in the village, either drive in drive out or bus in bus out from Isa or Cloncurry,” he said.