QUEENSLAND, Australia – Anglo-Swiss mining giant XSTRATA has made plans to increase the concentrate production from its Mount Isa lead-zinc mill by 60%. The two-part project will raise ore throughput to 8.0 million tonnes per year, making Mount Isa the world’s third largest zinc mine by the second half of 2008.
The first part entails the use of second-hand equipment, sourced from Xstrata Zinc’s George Fisher mine and overseas at a cost of less than US$5.0 million. This will increase existing throughput capacity by some 30% to 6.5 million tonnes/year by the final quarter of 2006.
The second part focuses on a major revamp and expansion of the zinc-lead concentrator at Mount Isa, at a capital cost of some US$120 million. The work includes installing a new semi-autogenous grinding mill, ball mills and flotation circuit, enabling Xstrata Zinc to replace the existing heavy media plant, as well as the obsolete rod and ball mill grinding circuit.
Feed for the expanded mill will be provided by the George Fisher and the Black Star mines, both of which are undergoing their own expansions. Total reserves at the two mines are 81.1 million tonnes grading 7.2% Zn, 4.2% Pb and 84.0 g/t Ag.
The Xstrata website is at www.Xstrata.com.