JOHANNESBURG, July 13 -- Xstrata Zinc Canada has started construction on its C$158-million joint-venture (JV) Bracemac-McLeod zinc and copper mine, in Quebec.
Production was expected to start in early 2012, ramping up to full output of 80 000 t/y of zinc and 10 000 t/y of copper by the first quarter of 2013.
"The project is a low-capital cost, high-return project that will provide a continued feed of ore to Xstrata's Matagami concentrator once the Perseverance mine comes to the end of its life. The new mine will use existing processing infrastructure and will provide ongoing employment opportunities for the existing workforce at Perseverance," said Xstrata Zinc Canada mining operations vice-president Jean Desrosiers.
The zinc miner's Perseverance mine started producing in July 2008, at which time it had been estimated to have a five-and-a-half year life.
Xstrata Zinc would invest C$104-million in the capital cost of the Bracemac-McLeod mine with JV partner Donner Metals to fund the balance. The mine would create 250 jobs over its minimum four-year life.
The project will be managed and operated by Xstrata Zinc, while Donner Metals has the right to earn a 35% share in the JV by proportionately funding its share of the capital costs.