Cyclone Forces MMG to Suspend Loading at Century Mine

25 January 2010 (Last Updated January 25th, 2010 18:30)

A cyclone approaching north Queensland’s Karumba port has forced China Minmetals unit Minerals & Metals Group (MMG) to halt zinc concentrate loading at the Century zinc mine. China Minmetals, which transports concentrate from Century, resumed production at the mine last month after

A cyclone approaching north Queensland’s Karumba port has forced China Minmetals unit Minerals & Metals Group (MMG) to halt zinc concentrate loading at the Century zinc mine.

China Minmetals, which transports concentrate from Century, resumed production at the mine last month after a damaged pipeline caused an 11-week halt in output, according to Bloomberg.

MMG spokeswoman Sally Cox said MMG has commenced its cyclone contingency plan and a transfer barge has been secured that will transport concentrate from the port to export ships in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

"Depending on how the weather pans out and subsequently how long the plan is activated for, there may be no impact to Century’s shipping schedule," Cox said.

"Mining operations will continue and concentrate production will continue.

"We just continue stockpiling concentrate at the storage facility there."

Australia’s weather bureau said the ex-tropical Cyclone Olga may intensify into a tropical cyclone across north Australia and is expected to travel west over the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Century mine annually produces 500,000t of zinc from one million tons of concentrate.