Century Mine Reopens
Guests on the site visit were treated to an inspection of the New Century Resources tailings reprocessing operations, providing a close-up view of Australia’s largest ever hydraulic mining operation.
Phase 1 operations at the Century mine are under way, which involve the mining and reprocessing of 8 million tons per year of tailings and production of zinc concentrate to be exported via the company’s port facility at Karumba. The company is targeting the progressive ramp up of operations to 15 million t/y via the refurbishment of the northern flotation train and further supporting infrastructure at the Century mine.
New Century Resources’ Managing Director Patrick Walta said, “New Century Resources is dedicated to implementing its economic mine rehabilitation strategy and to establishing a successful business that creates improved environmental outcomes and continued community benefits. The reinvigorated Century mine operations have also created ongoing indigenous employment opportunities and local community development initiatives through the continued implementation of the Gulf Communities Native Title Agreement.”
For several years, the Waanyi-Downer Joint Venture has been actively engaged at Century through ongoing care and maintenance works and delivery of training and development programs for local indigenous peoples.
In May, New Century announced it had executed a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) and a Mining Services Agreement (MSA) with the WDJV to undertake works associated with the company’s insitu Mineral Resource at South Block.
The WDJV is a 50/50 joint venture between Waanyi Enterprises Pty Ltd. and Downer EDI Mining Pty Ltd., representing the interests of both the Waanyi People (Traditional Owners of the Century Mining Lease area) and Downer Group’s Mining Services Division. The WDJV is chaired by Warren Mundine, former head of the prime minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.
The incorporation of the MSA within the compensation arrangements for a CHMP is a first for the mining industry and provides a viable mechanism to properly recognize the significant value of Indigenous Cultural Heritage, while also empowering Traditional Owner communities with mining developments occurring within their traditional lands.
Minister Canavan said, “I am passionate about the mining industry and this Project demonstrates why: it brings income and jobs to regional areas and improves the state and national economies as well.”