New Century Resources has selected National Pump & Energy (NPE) and Paragon Tailings as the preferred contractors for hydraulic mining service works at the Century zinc mine tailings deposit in Queensland, Australia.

The company has identified hydraulic mining as the ideal method to undertake extraction of the tailings deposit as it believes the method will enable efficient recovery of the ore and transport.

The recovered ore will be transported through the existing site slurry piping infrastructure to the Century processing plant.

“The selection of NPE and Paragon as the company’s hydraulic mining preferred contractors represents another key step in the restart of operations at Century.

NPE and Paragon will handle the supply, operation and maintenance of Century’s hydraulic mining operations.

In order to achieve the initially 8Mtpa operation at Century, the contractors have proposed a two-duty, two-standby cannon arrangement.

Another two duty cannons will subsequently be added to boost operations to the scheduled 15Mtpa.

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New Century chief operating officer Barry Harris said: “The selection of NPE and Paragon as the company’s hydraulic mining preferred contractors represents another key step in the restart of operations at Century.

“The hydraulic mining due diligence process and operational site visits also provided in-depth exposure to a number of large-scale hydraulic mining operations around the world, allowing the company to have full confidence in NPE and Paragon’s operational proposal for the Century tailings deposit.”

The deployment of hydraulic mining technology at the deposit will include the use of track-mounted, remote-controlled water cannons.

Production at the Century mine is scheduled to begin later this year.

Earlier this month, New Century had signed an A$100m ($78m) agreement with Australian onshore gas operator Santos to purchase gas to generate power for the Century mine.