New Century Resources has taken an important step towards the development of in-situ operations at the Century zinc mine in Queensland after completing a pre-feasibility study for the project.
The study revealed a “strongly value accretive proposition” for the in-situ development at the site’s Silver King and East Fault Block alongside the existing tailings operations.
According to New Century, the in-situ operations could be in production by 2023, increasing zinc output from the site and producing a new lead product with silver credits.
The pre-feasibility study found that the in-situ operations could add average lead metal production of 33,000 tonnes per annum (tpa), containing 972,000 ounces of silver per annum, and additional zinc production of 22,000tpa.
This development also has the potential to reduce Century’s cash cost by $US0.21/pound payable zinc through the benefit of additional lead, zinc and silver output.
The project has an estimated pre-production capital expenditure of $66.7 million, with cost spread across the first 15 months from initiation of project development.
New Century stated that a final investment decision (FID) would “follow amendment to existing environmental approvals, and completion of financing and joint venture assessment process.”
The company is targeting an FID for the in-situ project in the first quarter of the 2022 calendar year and first production during the first quarter of the 2023 calendar year.
Its next step towards these targets includes completion of front-end engineering design works, operational readiness and long lead item procurement.
New Century has upgraded its mineral resource and ore reserves at Silver King and East Fault Block, extending the site’s mine life to 2027.
The company said it had a “clear pathway to mine life extension to 2030 and beyond via conversion of mineral resources at Watson’s Lode, South Block and further Silver King extensions.”
New Century acquired the Century zinc mine from MMG in 2017. The company has since revived the site as a hydraulic tailings operation.