Xstrata will Raise Zinc Production at Lady Loretta

Xstrata Zinc plans to increase ore produc-tion by a further 33% to 1.6 million mt/y at its high-grade Lady Loretta mine in north-west Queensland. The greenfield under-ground zinc-lead-silver Lady Loretta mine began ore production ahead of schedule in September 2012. Commercial-scale min-ing is due to begin in mid-2013 at a rate of 1.2 million mt/y, and the expanded rate of 1.6 million mt/y is expected by 2016.

Capital expenditures required for the expansion are estimated at A$59.2 million, bringing total investment to develop the Lady Loretta project to A$362.2 million.

Xstrata Zinc Australia COO Brian Hearne said, “This increase in high-grade ore supplied to our Mount Isa processing facilities reflects Lady Loretta’s important place in our regional production profile. The expansion project will allow the earlier recovery of resources from several of Lady Loretta’s upper ore bodies and will increase the number of stoping levels available in the underground mine in future years.

“To achieve this, we are investing in larg-er ore-handling facilities; increased mobile and fixed plant equipment, including an expanded ventilation system; more village accommodation; and utilities upgrades.”

Construction is well advanced on the concrete batch plant, paste plant, ware-house, fuel farm and power station; and surface infrastructure at Lady Loretta was 56% complete as of year-end 2012.

The Lady Loretta deposit hosts an esti-mated 12.7-million-mt reserve, grading 14.2% zinc and 4.8% lead, along with 84 g/mt of silver. Total metal production from the project is estimated at 1.8 million mt of zinc and 610,000 mt of lead.

As featured in Womp 2013 Vol 02 - www.womp-int.com