Australia

Mount Isa Copper Operation

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
Commodities
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Sub-level open stoping (SLOS)
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ShapshotMount Isa Mines is the second-largest copper producer in Australia.

Mount Isa Mines' copper operations consist of the Enterprise underground mine, X41 underground mine, Black Rock Cave mine, Copper Concentrator, and Copper Smelter.

The copper mining at the Enterprise and X41 operations and copper concentrator at Mount Isa will close in the second half (H2) of 2025.

The Black Rock copper mine in Mount Isa will close in Q3 2024.

The Copper Smelter will need to approve additional capital. This metallurgical asset will continue to process third-party concentrate from other mines in the region.
Related Asset

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Glencore plc. 100 % Indirect

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork
  • SEDEX

Summary:

The Mount Isa copper orebody as a whole covers an extent of over 4kms and a vertical extent of 1800 metres (Lilly et al, 2017). Cu mineralisation occurs in extensive zones of silica-dolomite alteration. The main mineralised bodies include the 1100, 1900, 200, 500, 650, 3000 and 3500 orebodies. The Cu orebodies fall into two broad orientation groups: the 500, 1900N and 3500 orebodies are broadly stratabound and dip west at between 60 and 80 degrees; and the 1100, 1900S, 3000, 200 and 650 orebodies dip moderately to steeply west-southwest (ie with an approximate 15 degree sinistral rotation from the orientation of bedding) (Miller, 2007). The 1100, 1900, 3000 and 3500 orebodies show local plunge variations which are broadly parallel to the intersection between bedding in the Urquhart Shale and the underlying basement contact with the Eastern Creek Volcanics. The 1100 and 1900 orebodies show a subhorizontal plunge, while the 3000 and 3500 orebodies plunge moderately to the north. The 200, 500 and 650 orebodies also show a moderate north plunge. The Mount Isa Cu and Zn-Pb-Ag deposits are hosted within the Mesoproterozoic Urquhart Shale of the 1670Ma Mount Isa Group. Major Host Rock: Variably laminated mudstones and siltstones which vary from siliceous to carbonate-rich, with significant and extensive accumulations of fine grained pyrite. Minor Host Rock: A minor amount of copper mineralisation and associated alteration occurs in the Spear Siltsone, which overlies the Urquhart Shale. Copper mineralisation and silica dolomite alteration also encroach slightly on the underlying Native Bee siltstone in the 3500 orebody. Mineralisation in the copper orebodies occurs as a mixture of veins and wallrock replacement, Miller (2007) noted that Cu-hosting structures have a steep S-pitching intersection with bedding and are consistent with sinistral-reverse slip on bedding. Cu mineralisation occurs in association with an extensive zone of “silica-dolomite” alteration. The high grade core of the copper deposit is hosted in brecciated and intensely silicified Urquhart Shale. The high grade siliceous zone is surrounded by a zone of dolomite. Mount Isa X41 and Enterprise Copper Mine: Mineralisation occurs generally as breccia hosted massive to disseminated chalcopyrite in “silica dolomite” altered pyritic dolomitic siltstone. Black Rock Cave: Copper mineralisation occurs generally within a Chalcocite Zone that lies above the Leached Primary material. The zone is interpreted to lie outside of the SilicaDolomite alteration.

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
Copper kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe151*152*165*205*206*
Silver koz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,154*854*1,096*1,251*1,227*
Gold koz 100*74*67*86*90*

Operational metrics

Metrics2023
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 16, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 16, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 16, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 16, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 16, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 16, 2024

Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2019

Aerial view:

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