MINE CLOSURE: Lennard Shelf shelved in Australia

WESTERN AUSTRALIA Partners TECK COMINCO (50%) of Vancouver and XSTRATA ZINC (50%) of Switzerland have announced t...
WESTERN AUSTRALIA Partners TECK COMINCO (50%) of Vancouver and XSTRATA ZINC (50%) of Switzerland have announced the closure of their Lennard Shelf Pillara zinc/lead mine in the Kimberley region. The closure will take effect in early August.

The Pillara mine and mill were reopened in early 2007 with a mine life of only three to four years. Last year the operation produced 42.100 t of Zn and 12,400 t of Pb contained in concentrates. The mine, mill and nearby port have employed approximately 300 employees and contractors.

Xstrata and Teck Cominco cite the sharp decline in zinc and lead prices compounded by the appreciation of the Australian dollar as factors in making the project uneconomic. Ore that has been drilled and broken will be treated before the mill is closed. The mine will be allowed to flood and the plant and surface facilities placed on care-and-maintenance. Exploration and mine development have been halted.

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