New Century begins zinc pipeline operation

Century Zinc Mine slurry pipeline inlet, with product tanks and zinc product thickener (foreground) and stores, maintenance and the processing plant (background).
Century Zinc Mine slurry pipeline inlet, with product tanks and zinc product thickener (foreground) and stores, maintenance and the processing plant (background).

New Century has announced that zinc concentrate is now being delivered via the company’s recently developed slurry pipeline to the Karumba Port Facility for export.

The company told the Australian Stock Exchange Tuesday operation of the slurry pipeline represented another important milestone for New Century, with the saleable zinc concentrate produced on site to date now undertaking the first stage of logistics for export.

“The pumping of slurry to Karumba also allows the Company to anticipate the receival of first revenue from sales of concentrate later this month,” they said.

New Century is pumping zinc concentrate from the Lawn Hill mine through the slurry pipeline for delivery to the company’s port facility on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The vessel that will ship New Century’s concentrate from the port, M.V. Wunma, has gone through drydocking and refurbishment and is also set to commence shipping in September.

Map of the region.

Map of the region.

New Century completed commissioning of the 304km pipeline in July 2018 for transport of the concentrate from the mine at Lawn Hill to the Port of Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

New century said the pipeline commissioning process included hydrostatic testing, running of two cleaning pigs through entire length of the pipeline and commissioning and operational ramp up of all three Wirth pumps used to transport slurry concentrate along the pipeline. 

The first use of the pipeline is the latest milestone for the Perth-based company’s Century zinc mine project, which is hoped will become one of the top 10 global zinc producers in the world once it reaches full capacity, alongside nearby MMG’s Dugald River project.

The mine was purchased by New Century in early 2017 following closure by previous owner MMG the year before.

The company anticipates exports via the port of 300,000–400,000 tonnes per year over a six-and-a-half year mine life.

The company recently secured a $40 million debt facility with NAB for further expansion of the mine.

New Century plans to utilise the facility to expedite plans for expansion to full production rate. A

s outlined in the Restart Feasibility Study released in November 2017 New Century’s strategy for the ramp up of operations consists of two phases.