The ramp-up of North-West Queensland’s Dugald River mine has continued successfully, with a record 47,296 tonnes of zinc in zinc concentrate produced last quarter, MMG says.
This result was 32 per cent above the previous quarterly production.
Higher production was attributable to higher mining, throughput and recovery rates and higher ore grades.
The MMG-owned Dugald River mine and processing operation, 65km north-west of Cloncurry, came online in late 2017.
In its latest quarterly report, MMG said mine development works at Dugald River continued to open a higher average number of operating stopes, resulting in a 9 per cent rise in mined ore compared with the second quarter of this year.
This combined with successful de-bottlenecking projects to enable mill throughput to be sustained above design capacity for the sixth consecutive quarter, the company said.
Mine development works will continue to be a major focus for the remainder of 2019 and 2020 to ensure stable feed to the mill, with all pre-commissioning ore stockpiles now depleted.
Dugald River also produced 5,750 tonnes of lead concentrate, up 3 per cent from the previous quarter.
MMG said total 2019 production from Dugald River was expected to reach 165,000-175,000 tonnes of zinc in zinc concentrate.
In notes on the state of the commodities market, MMG said the global zinc market remained in deficit.
Total stocks on the LME and SHFE were at the equivalent of only four days’ global consumption during the quarter, it said.
Despite a rise in Chinese zinc smelter production, the concentrate market remained comfortably supplied during the quarter – with an increase in mine supply as new projects, including Dugald River, ramped up, the report stated.