Chinese Minmetals Corporation-controlled MMG Ltd is on track to bring its massive Dugald River zinc mine in Queensland to production in late 2017, ahead of schedule, to take advantage of tightening worldwide supply.
MMG said Dugald River is positioned to be one the world’s top 10 zinc mines, with a 1.7 Mtpa operation producing around 170,000t of zinc concentrate, as well as by-products.
The zinc will be shipped through the port of Townsville, which, in early September, hosted Swire Shipping’s chartered container vessel MIA SCHULTE loading the first shipment of 500 of a total of 1,750 half-height containers that will be utilised for zinc exports.
Pierre Malan MMG’s GM for Dugald River Project Delivery, said: “MMG approved this project in 2015 in anticipation that zinc prices would increase due to decreasing global supply on the back of key mine closures, and recent increases in the zinc price to a 10-year high have validated this decision.”
Concentrate will be loaded into the specially designed containers at the mine, before being road-hauled to Cloncurry, and then railed to the port of Townsville, before being emptied into a ship using a Rotainer container rotation system attached to a crane.