Worker worries for Lennard Shelf

06 February 2006 | 03:06 Code : 7850 Geoscience events
According to a Macquarie Research commodities report, Teck has...
A STRETCHED Australian mining workforce is one of the issues impacting major zinc miner Teck Cominco\'s study into re-opening the Lennard Shelf project in Western Australia.According to a Macquarie Research commodities report, Teck has "indicated the availability of contract workers will be a key issue determining the timing of any re-start".

Lennard Shelf employed around 400 workers when it was closed by administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2003. The administrators were appointed after currency and metal prices went the wrong way for project owner Western Metals.The underground operation and plant was subsequently bought by Teck for $A26 million. Teck\'s study is targeted to be completed by the end of April. At its peak, Macquarie said Lennard Shelf produced around 190,000 tonnes per annum of zinc in concentrate. The project is also believed to have produced in the order of 70,000tpa of lead metal in concentrate.Big-ticket project expansions and developments, especially in the iron ore and energy sectors, have put significant pressure on Australia\'s mining workforce.In addition, skilled underground contractors are understood to be difficult to find, with the small Sand Queen gold joint venture mine one example where Filipino miners are taking up the slack. (Sand Queen is JV involving Reed Resources and private company Kingrose Mining, the latter reportedly having operations in the Philippines and Indonesia).
Mining contractor Barminco is another using Filipino miners and tradesman – as reported by in December. Teck is also said to be looking at reopening the Sa Dena Hes zinc mine in the Yukon, which had produced just over 40,000t of zinc in concentrate prior to a planned two-week closure nearly 15 years ago

tags: QAZVIN

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