Glencore has announced that Mount Isa Mines’ Black Star Open-Cut mine (Black Star) in north-west Queensland, Australia, has shifted to a care and maintenance phase following mining of all reserves.

The mine began production in 2004 with an initial expectation of an eight-year life.

During its 13 years of successful operation, the mine generated approximately 40 million tonnes of ore, 1.75 million tonnes of contained zinc metal and nearly one million tonnes of contained lead metal.

"During its 13 years of successful operation, the mine generated approximately 40 million tonnes of ore."

Over the last three years, Glencore has implemented a staged workforce transition programme and has redeployed many employees to other Glencore operations.

Glencore chief operating officer for zinc assets Australia Greg Ashe said: “The Black Star workforce overcame a number of unique geotechnical and mining challenges presented by an old expansive network of abandoned underground workings.

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"The team adopted an innovative approach to void analysis, which enabled the safe and sustainable recovery of a valuable mineral resource that would otherwise have been inaccessible.”

Glencore has operated in Australia for nearly two decades and has significant interests in a range of commodity industries across all mainland states and the Northern Territory.