Lady loretta mine touches base with neighbours and community

Nearby station owners, emergency services personnel, and representatives from Commerce North West, Mount Isa City Council and other key stakeholders attended a Lady Loretta Mine Neighbours Day event, held onsite during October.

With a bus embarking from Mount Isa, stakeholders travelled 140 kilometres each way for an opportunity to see the high grade zinc-lead-silver mining operation first-hand.

There they learnt about the history of the site and the unique characteristics of the Lady Loretta orebody, as well as getting a look at the surface operations, which was capped off by a rescue demonstration by the on site Emergency Response Team.

Rebecca Roper, Manager – Mining Contract, Lady Loretta Mine says Neighbours Day is a way of acknowledging the important role our neighbours and key stakeholders play in the ongoing success of our operations.

"We are proud of what we do and we enjoyed sharing this experience," Rebecca says.

"Most of our stakeholders would be very familiar with Mount Isa Mines, but we are a newer and smaller operation with our own set of unique opportunities and challenges."

Lady Loretta Mine, which is operated by Redpath Australia, plays an important role in Glencore's North Queensland Zinc profile. The operation produces around 1.6 million tonnes of high-grade zinc-lead-silver ore each year which is transported to Mount Isa and blended with ore from the George Fisher Mine prior to processing.

The underground mine is 488 metres deep and currently has around 30 kilometres of tunnels, with further development planned for 2020.

While the Lady Loretta deposit was first discovered in 1969, full scale mining didn't commence until 44 years later in 2013. The operation has a well-defined orebody and a finite life of mine. Throughout the Neighbours Day Rebecca stressed the importance of progressive rehabilitation.

"We are committed to a successful closure and our strategy is to rehabilitate land, in keeping with natural habitats and surrounding ecosystems, progressively as we continue to mine as well as after mining activity has finished," Rebecca says.

"This year we have invested more than $1 million into our rehabilitation activities which has included removing Potentially Acid Forming material, installing drainage lines and rock armouring to stabilise exposed surfaces.

"We plan to set a benchmark in Queensland as the first metalliferous mine to successfully close and be rehabilitated to a high standard, once mining operations have ceased."