New Century says they have made strong initial progress through the load commissioning process of its Century operations.
The Lawn Hill zinc mine officially re-opened last month with its first shipment getting ready to leave the Port of Karumba.
New Century is well on the way to becoming one of the world’s top 10 zinc mines and has told the ASX it is producing saleable concentrate with a total impurity level including iron, lead, manganese, cadmium and silica already equivalent to several top 10 zinc operations.
They said recent media reports about saleability issues and delays to concentrate shipping due to a high lead content were incorrect.
“The Century Tailings Deposit contains a minor lead component (half of one per cent) previously unrecovered from the original operations which elected to produce separate zinc and lead products,” the company said in their ASX statement.
“As with most base metal ore bodies, it is common for any lead in the deposit to initially float in preference to zinc, which is also the case at Century.”
New Century said the progressive increase of zinc recovery from the Century commissioning process was continuing as planned, “resulting in continued dilution of the minor lead component within the final concentrate”.
They said this was no different to Glencore’s McArthur River Mine, which produces 400,000 tonnes a year of zinc concentrate from which both the zinc and lead components are typically extracted during the smelting process.
“The lead content within zinc concentrates therefore typically has little effect on overall saleability of the product in comparison to other impurities such as manganese, iron, cadmium or silica,” they said.
New Century has achieved sales of $27.2 million for its current concentrate specification which has attracted no penalties for lead content and a small penalty for silica.
“This has provided strong cashflow for the Company just one month after starting the plant load commissioning process,” they told the ASX.
“The successful completion of the MV Wunma (transhipment vessel) refurbishment and return to Karumba has allowed the Company to initiate concentrate shipments, with the first scheduled for late October.”
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