Tala Hamza zinc/lead project, Algeria – update

Image of Algeria flag and periodic table symbols for lead and zinc

26th May 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Tala Hamza zinc/lead project.


Project Owner/s
Western Mediterranean Zinc, a joint venture (JV) between Terramin Australia and Enterprise Nationale des Produits Miniers Non-Ferreux et des Substances Utiles.

Project Description
The project has mineral reserves of 25.9-million tonnes grading 6.3% zinc and 1.8% lead; and mineral resources of 53-million tonnes grading 5.3% zinc and 63% lead.

A 2018 definitive feasibility study (DFS) proposed an operation producing an average of 129 300 t/y of zinc concentrate and 26 000 t/y of lead concentrate over a 21-year mine life, peaking at 153 000 t/y zinc and 36 000 t/y lead concentrate from the mining and processing of an average of 1.32-million tonnes a year of ore.

In March 2022, the JV partners endorsed the optimisation study on the project and agreed to advance the project towards development.

The optimisation study identified the potential to substantially increase production rates and introduce additional midgrade resources at Tala Hamza, with minimal change to the mine life and expected capital expenditure.

The study indicated that there is potential for an additional eight-million tonnes of indicated resource to be included in production, representing an increase of about 30% of the total Tala Hamza reserve tonnage.

The study also expects a production rate increase, from 1.32-million tonnes a year in the 2018 DFS to two-million tonnes a year in the optimisation study, with the mine life decreasing to 19 years, compared with the 21 years suggested in the 2018 DFS.

The mining method selected is underground, using mechanised underhand drift-and-fill.

Conventional flotation will be used to recover a zinc and lead concentrate.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The 2018 DFS estimated an after-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $303-million and an internal rate of return of 14%, with a payback of nine years.

Capital Expenditure
Preproduction capital is estimated at $341.4-million. The optimisation study estimates $360-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
The Algerian mining regulator has issued Terramin Australia with the mining permit for its Tala Hamza zinc project, satisfying all the regulatory, financial and environmental requirements for the project.

The mining permit will allow for the processing of two-million tonnes a year of ore, instead of the 1.3-million tonnes a year anticipated in the optimisation study, with Terramin expecting the project’s returns to be enhanced over the expected mine life.

The mining permit encompasses all the areas of land required for operation of the mine, including mining, processing, haul roads, ore stockpiles, tailings dams and concentrate handling, as well as maintenance and administration.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
GO Mining (desktop-level mine optimisation study).

Contact Details for Project Information
Terramin Australia, tel +61 8 8213 1415 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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