PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Zinc miner New Century Resources has declared commercial production at its Century zinc mine, in Queensland.
“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, operations at Century continue to ramp up and have again delivered record production in the June quarter. Century has now achieved seven consecutive quarters of increasing production and lowering costs, and the company remains focused on continuing this trend,” said MD Patrick Walta on Monday.
In the June quarter, the Century mine delivered a 22% increase in zinc metal production, reaching 34 500 t, with C1 costs decreasing by about 17% to some $0.79/lb of a payable metal.
“We are pleased to declare commercial production at the operation, with the Century mine now re-established as a top ten zinc producer just three years since being shut down for closure.
“From a market perspective, despite the zinc price remaining near four year lows, a strong decline in spot treatment charges in the quarter has improved conditions for zinc miners. The company also sees potential for a price rebound due to additional metal demand from increased global infrastructure development linked to Covid-19 government stimulus,” said Walta.
Meanwhile, Walta noted that New Century was still progressing its due diligence on the Goro nickel and cobalt mine, in New Caledonia, as well as completing negotiations for the provision of suitable funding.
New Century has struck an exclusivity agreement with major Vale to negotiate the purchase of a 95% interest in the issued shares of Vale Nouvelle-Caledonie (VNC), which owns the Goro.
The negotiations between the two companies would include a financial package aimed at supporting the transition and continuity of VNC operations from VCL to New Century, while the parties also plan to jointly engage with the French State to secure continued financing support.