SHANGHAI, (SMM)--The state government of Queensland, Australia, has officially approved Xstrata Plc’s George Fisher expansion plan valuing USD 246 million in Mount Isa, Australia, which is one of the major producing areas of copper, silver, lead and zinc in the world.
According to the expansion plan, the annual production rate of zinc mines is to be raised by 30% from the previous 3.5 million mt/yr to 4.5 million mt/yr from 2013.
According to Brian Hearne, Chief Operating Officer of Xstrata Plc, the George Fisher mine has the largest amount of zinc ore resources in the world. Meanwhile, the expansion plan can help the company further explore and utilize its abundant zinc ores.
“While the increased production rate will reduce the service life of George Fisher mine by 5 to 21 years, the orebody remains open at depth to the north of the mine.” Added Brian Hearne.
The expansion project had been encouraged by a 126% increase in zinc reserves from 33 million tonnes when Xstrata acquired the operation in 2003 to 76 million tonnes this year.