Glencore has announced that Mount Isa Mines’ Black Star open cut mine in northwest Queensland has moved to a care and maintenance phase after mining out the existing reserve.
The mine began production in 2004 with an initial expectation of an eight-year life.
It exceeded this expectation, delivering 13 years of successful operation while producing approximately 40 million tonnes of ore, 1.75 million tonnes of contained zinc metal and nearly one million tonnes of contained lead metal.
Over the past three years Glencore has implemented a staged workforce transition program, with many employees redeployed to other Glencore operations.
Glencore’s Chief Operating Officer for Zinc Assets Australia, Greg Ashe praised the Black Star team’s significant contribution to both the industry and the local community.
“The Black Star workforce overcame a number of unique geotechnical and mining challenges presented by an old expansive network of abandoned underground workings,” he said.
“The team adopted an innovative approach to void analysis, which enabled the safe and sustainable recovery of a valuable mineral resource that would otherwise have been inaccessible.”