Australian-Chinese global resources company MMG has given its approval for Dugald River zinc project's updated development plan in North-West Queensland, Australia.
The $1.37bn development plan of the project near Cloncurry will see a mine production rate of 1.5 million tonne per annum, construction of a concentrator and annual production of approximately 160,000t of zinc, in addition to by-products, over an estimated mine life of 28 years.
MMG chief executive officer Andrew Michelmore said: "This decision reflects our confidence in zinc at a time of shrinking global supply.
"Under the updated plan, Dugald River will come online at around a time when significant global zinc supply will disappear through mine closures."
The expected remaining cost of the project to first shipment of concentrate is around $750m.
Michelmore added: "By taking the time to understand the unique characteristics of the ore body, we now have a robust plan for Dugald River that maximises long-term value for shareholders."
Based on the updated project plan, the company plans to revise agreements with key energy, logistics and service providers.
Construction of remaining surface infrastructure facilities are expected to begin in 2016.
First production from a Dugald River concentrator is due to take place during the first half of 2018.
The project is expected to provide 28 years of economic, employment and revenue contribution to Cloncurry and Queensland during development and operation.