Australia

Mount Isa Zinc Operation

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Sub-level open stoping (SLOS)
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SnapshotThe Mount Isa Mines is one of the world's largest mining complexes.

The Mount Isa Mines zinc assets in and around Mount Isa consist of George Fisher underground mine, and Lady Loretta underground mine.
Related AssetsGeorge Fisher Mine, Lady Loretta Mine

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Glencore plc. 100 % Indirect

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork
  • SEDEX

Summary:

Pb-Zn-Ag orebodies at Mount Isa are broadly stratiform with a 60-65° westerly dip parallel to bedding in the host Urquhart Shale. The main stacked group of orebodies defines and en-echelon group of north-plunging lenses which are bounded to the south by the silica-dolomite alteration zone associated with the copper orebodies and to the north by the NNW-plunging Mount Isa Fold (Davis 2004).

The stratiform zone of Zn-Pb-Ag and pyrite enrichment within the Urquhart Shale is much more laterally extensive than the economically-defined orebodies (Painter, 2003), extending along stratigraphically consistent zones for more than 10km north of the economic limit of mineralisation.

Mount Isa’s stratiform silver-leadzinc sulphide mineralization occurs with pyrite and pyrrhotite in distinct bands dipping to the west, concordant with weakly bedded carbonaceous dolomitic sediments of the Urquhart Shale. The mineralization is intermittent through a stratigraphic interval of over 1 km, but the major orebodies are restricted to the upper 650 m. The orebodies occur in an echelon pattern, interlocking at the southern and lower sections with the extremities of the silica-dolomite mass hosting the copper orebodies.

Brittle-ductile deformation predominates in the mine, with common development of disharmonic folding within the Pb-Zn orebodies. Pb-Zn mineralisation is stratiform, but abundant evidence exists of hand specimen-scale transitions from ore layers to barren siltstones suggestive of wallrock replacement.

There is relatively little wallrock alteration associated with Pb-Zn-Ag mineralisation, apart from the already-noted extensive pyrite halo and mineralogical variations within ore horizons.

Black Star Open Cut (“BSOC”): Lead-zinc-silver mineralisation occurs in galena and sphalerite-rich bedding parallel horizons in dolomitic and variably carbonaceous pyritic shales and siltstones.

Black Star Underground (“BSUG”): BSUG is the continuation of the same lead-zinc-silver mineralisation in BSOC, which occurs in galena and sphalerite-rich bedding parallel horizons in dolomitic and variably carbonaceous pyritic shales and siltstones.

Mount Isa Open Pit (“MIOP”): Lead-zinc-silver mineralisation occurs in galena and sphalerite-rich bedding parallel horizons in dolomitic and variably carbonaceous pyritic shales and siltstones.

Approximately 85% of the lead-zinc-silver resource is primary sulphide; the remainder being considered as transitional mineralisation (mixed sulphide and secondary oxide/carbonate).

George Fisher Mine
George Fisher Mine (previously Hilton mine) is an underground zinc-lead-silver mine. It has two separate mining areas. The older Hilton mine is now known as George Fisher South and the newer mining area is George Fisher North (previously Hilton North).

The George Fisher orebody is an economic sulphide mineralisation. It is distinct from the nearby Mount Isa deposit due to its lack of breccia-hosted copper mineralisation. The deposit is composed of a series of 11 stratiform orebodies striking near N-S and dipping west between 30°-90°.

Lead-zinc-silver mineralisation occurs in galena and sphalerite-rich bedding parallel horizons in dolomitic and variably carbonaceous pyritic shales and siltstones. Orebody and structural interpretation, modelling and classification of the mineral resource was completed on the basis of additional geological information and improved systems.

Lady Loretta
Lead-zinc-silver mineralisation occurs in a galena and sphalerite rich massive sulphide lens located in carbonaceous pyritic shales and siltstones. The deposit consists of a tight syncline dislocated by a number of major faults. The deeper and high grade portion of the deposit reaches 500m below the surface.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits202320222021202020192018201720162015
Zinc kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe326278226288478
Lead kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe158126112143163
Silver koz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe5,5184,6435,4947,3326,524
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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AV - Autonomous

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNamePhoneEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 15, 2024
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....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 15, 2024
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Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2020
...... Subscription required 2019

Aerial view:

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