underground mining excellence



22 May 2014

Late June staged re-start for Mt Lyell Mine

Copper Mines of Tasmania is planning a staged re-start of operations at the Mt Lyell Mine from the end of June.

CMT's General Manager Scot Clyde said today the mine had received approval from WorkSafe Tasmania to recommence development at the end of June and the re-establishment of mining operations planned in late July. 

"A new mining method is a significant change to mine design and operation, including the introduction of remote mining equipment and new technology to remove people from the risk of mud in-rush," Mr Clyde said.

"While this is good news for the bulk of our employees, the local community and suppliers, it will significantly reduce ore production over the next two years and unfortunately this requires fewer employees," he said.

Mr Clyde and Chief Executive Officer of underground mining contractor Barminco Peter Stokes said the mine would continue to employ about 239 people. However about 64 positions would be affected across all areas of the mine's operation. A further 24 positions are likely to be affected in the New Year.

CMT and Barminco will consult unions and employees over the next two weeks to identify who will be affected by the reduction in positions. The company will examine all options to minimise the impact on employees, with retrenchment a last resort.

"The company is undertaking exploration drilling and feasibility studies to prove up ore deposits on the site and is confident that the mine has a longer-term future," Mr Clyde said.

"This is a major financial commitment by the company and buys time to develop the new resource to extend the life of the mine," Mr Clyde said.

Mr Clyde said the company was also continuing to support the about 303 CMT and Barminco employees under standby arrangements which include a mix of ongoing care and maintenance employment, redeployment to other sites, leave and a standby wage since February.