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MOUNT ISA - Xstrata has approved the commencement of an AUD47 million (USD50 million) pre-feasibility study into the development of a large multi-commodity open pit mine on the existing Xstrata Mount Isa Mines footprint.
In a joint statement, Xstrata Zinc Australia Chief Operating Officer Brian Hearne and Xstrata Copper North Queensland Chief Operating Officer Steve de Kruijff said the development of a large scale zinc-lead-copper pit has the potential to extend the life of the combined operations to beyond 2060.
“The proposed development forms part of Xstrata’s long term strategy to sustain the future of Mount Isa Mines through expanded mining and concentrate production.
“Our aim is to sustainably manage our growth opportunities as well as our environmental and community obligations.”
The approval follows a review of the recommendations of an eight month, AUD3 million concept study completed in May 2011 which indicated the potential to mine and process at least 340 million tonnes of zinc-lead ore and 130 million tonnes of copper ore by large scale open pit mining methods. The pre-feasibility study will commence in August and is expected to be completed in early 2013 with the objective of confirming a preferred approach to the proposed development. It will comprise:
Subject to the successful outcomes of the pre-feasibility study, the next stage in planning would be to progress to feasibility stage and a full environmental assessment commencing in 2013.
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