The Monthly Mining News Roundup - February

29 February 2020

Glencore achieves 21% increase in lead production

Glencore’s restart of the Lady Loretta zinc-lead mine in 2018 has helped the company improve production for both commodities in 2019. This was the first full year back in production for Lady Loretta, which is 110 kilometres north-west of Mt Isa in Queensland, after operations were suspended in 2015. The company achieved a 21 per cent increase in lead production to 213,300 tonnes on 2018, thanks to Lady Loretta’s resumed mining activities.

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Queensland Government releases more than 7000 square kilometres of land for coal exploration

The Queensland Government has released more than 7000 square kilometres of land in the Bowen and Surat Basins for coal exploration opportunities in 2020. This follows a record 64,000 square kilometres released in the state government’s previous three exploration programs. Two areas in the 2020 Bowen Basin land release are set aside for metallurgical coal.

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Gladstone welcomes $200m alumina plant delivering 100 new jobs

Mineral development company Alpha HPA plans to build a $200 million high purity alumina (HPA) industrial plant in Gladstone, Queensland. The plant will occupy a 9.2 hectare site in the Gladstone state development area which is owned by the state government. This also marks Alpha’s transition from a pilot plant to a large scale manufacturing business.

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BMA recruits largest intake of local apprentices

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has accepted its largest intake of apprentices in Queensland in recent years with 56 starting work at mines across the Bowen Basin. BMA welcomed the apprentices at a ceremony at the Coalfield Training Excellence Centre in Moranbah before they officially started their careers with the company. According to BMA asset president James Palmer, it is the company’s priority to employ local people to support the communities in which it operates.

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New Century expected to boost overall zinc production by 33%

New Century Resources has reached full plant capacity at its Century zinc mine in Queensland after receiving an upgrade to its rougher circuit. With improvements to the rougher circuit's slurry commissioning under the upgrade, New Century is expecting to boost its overall zinc metal production at the site by 33 per cent. The rougher circuit upgrade was completed weeks ahead of schedule and below budget.

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Major vanadium prospect declared prescribed QLD project

Multicom Resources has received a prescribed project status from the Queensland Government for its proposed $470 million Saint Elmo vanadium mine in north-west Queensland. The Queensland-based exploration and mining company plans to develop an open cut mine for the production of vanadium, a key material in manufacturing batteries. Multicom has been working on the project since 2014 when exploration activities revealed significant amounts of vanadium within the sedimentary rocks in the area.

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QLD receives boost for exploration of new economy minerals

The hunt for “new economy minerals” continues for mining exploration companies in North Queensland as they compete for state government funding. The Queensland Government has so far granted close to a million dollars to seven projects to explore for minerals around Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek and Georgetown. The package, which was announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in November last year, aims to provide explorers $3.5 million in industry grants over five years for new and innovative exploration activities.

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BMA announces $5m STEM program for QLD schools

The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has formed a $5m partnership with schools throughout Queensland’s Bowen Basin to help boost technology-related education. The partnership has been co-designed by BMA’s Bowen Basin Bright Minds, Education Queensland and 18 participating Bowen Basin schools, reaching more than 6,000 students. The multi-million dollar initiative will see several Bowen Basin schools elevate to become Schools of Excellence in Technology, as they embed science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-focused learning into their curricula.

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