Contaminated mine reopens

A mine closed due to a contamination scare is to be reopened this month and could produce up to 60,000 tonnes of lead this year.

In 2006 100s of birds died and dozens of locals were taken ill after being exposed to contaminated material from the mine in Australia.

Millions of dollars have since been spent on an extensive clean-up of the area and new transport procedures.

The Magellan Mine, owned by Ivernia, in Western Australia is due to reopen this month (March) and will add to the country’s already considerable natural resources.

In August 2009, following extensive community and Government consultation, the mine was allowed to start sealed shipments of lead carbonate concentrates through the Port of Fremantle.

Several safety features were introduced to ensure no further leaks or contamination could take place.

In parallel with shipping the stockpiled material, during the second half of 2009 Magellan embarked on the detailed restart planning process as reported in the November 12, 2009 news release.

The staged restart of the processing plant began last week, with the major maintenance and re-commissioning projects required ahead of restart were substantially completed during January and early February.

Ivernia’s president and chief executive, Alan De’ath, said: “This week’s restart of Magellan operations is a significant milestone for Ivernia and Magellan and the culmination of a tremendous effort by the entire team.

“We have successfully recruited a strong Magellan management team and workforce that is fully committed to achieving all of our objectives and are delivering on the restart according to plan.

“It is exciting to see Magellan returning to production at a time in the market where we are seeing higher prices and strong lead market fundamentals.”

Luke Walsh

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