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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Australasia: February 2nd 2011


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:: Xstrata Completes Construction of Magnetite Plant in Queensland, Australia

Xstrata Copper announces the completion of construction of the magnetite base plant at Ernest Henry Mining (EHM), a key component of the AUD589 million (US$542 million) project to transform EHM into a major underground copper-gold operation. The newly constructed plant has produced the first magnetite concentrate, an important by-product of the copper-gold concentrating process, with exports expected to commence from Townsville port in the first half of 2011.

Construction of the AUD79 million (US$69 million) facility commenced in July 2010 and the operation is now in the commissioning phase. EHM General Manager, Myles Johnston said the magnetite processing plant will play a key role in securing the long-term future of the EHM operations.

“I am pleased to report that the project has been delivered safely, on time and within budget, which is a credit to all those involved," said Mr Johnston.

“Magnetite processing is an important part of EHM’s Life of Mine extension project which will extend the life of the EHM operation to at least 2024. The transformation of open pit mining operations to a major shaft underground mine is on budget with the shaft scheduled to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2013."

Xstrata Copper North Queensland Chief Operating Officer, Steve de Kruijff, said the new facility will play an important part in sustaining Xstrata’s north Queensland copper operations that make a significant contribution to the local and state economies.

“The magnetite processing operation at EHM will produce approximately 1.2 million tonnes of magnetite concentrate per annum at full capacity for export to Asia, making us Queensland’s first magnetite concentrate exporter and providing further opportunities to strengthen the state economy," said Mr de Kruijff.

“In 2010, Xstrata Copper North Queensland contributed around AUD1.34 billion to the Queensland economy. Our magnetite processing facility created approximately 144 jobs during construction and once fully operational it will deliver additional jobs to the region and further secure the long-term future of EHM’s operations."




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