New leases of life could be given to more historic Queensland mines following an agreement to remediate the Mount Morgan mine in Central Queensland and extract existing resources.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche welcomed the announcement on Thursday by Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham of a new agreement with mine remediation experts and QRC member Carbine Resources for water treatment at the 130-plus-year-old mine.
“The advances in technology, in this case water polishing technology which decontaminates it, allows the state and mine operators to revive old assets which previously were constrained by technical processes and cost,” Mr Roche said.
“This will enable the government, which is responsible for the management of the mine, and Carbine Resources, to remediate the mine but also to potentially extract gold, copper and pyrite (used in the manufacture of sulphuric acid, a principal ingredient in the production of fertiliser).
“This announcement demonstrates industry’s improving knowledge base which has made treatment of the tailings water locally a reality. Critically, this announcement will have local and regional environmental benefits to the overall health of the local waterways with treated water released into the local Dee River.
“This is exciting news for Central Queensland that one of our oldest mines could again become a mineral producer and the ramifications industry-wide make this a very significant announcement.”
The former Mount Morgan Mine operated from 1882 until 1990, producing copper and gold and at one stage was the largest gold mine in the world.
Mr Roche said Carbine Resources had also added to the viability of the project by signing a binding off-take agreement for the sale of pyrite from Mount Morgan to global industrial mineral distributor Talana Limited.
“This is proof that there is still value in abandoned and disused mine sites and demonstration that even an asset as old as Mount Morgan still has a residual value, which Carbine is now harnessing,” Mr Roche said.