New Century Resources Limited (ASX:NCZ) Managing Director Patrick Walta tells The Capital Network’s Lelde Smits why the economic rehabilitation approach is a game-changing model.
Base metal development company New Century Resources is restarting Queensland’s Century mine operations with the aim of becoming one of the world’s top 10 zinc producers.
Mr Walta explains what economic rehabilitation is, how it differs to the usual mining approach, the benefits of economic rehabilitation and outlook for applying the economic rehabilitation model to local and global mine sites.
Lelde Smits: Hello, I’m Lelde Smits for The Capital Network. Joining me here in Melbourne, at New Century Resources’ headquarters is it’s Managing Director, Patrick Walta. Patrick, welcome.
Patrick Walta: Thanks, Lelde.
Lelde Smits: Patrick, you know all about the economic rehabilitation model. Can you explain to us, what it is and how it differs to the usual mining approach?
Patrick Walta: Economic rehabilitation is a principle where we take remnant mineralisation on aging or closed mine sites and we restart the operations on that mine site, utilising that remnant mineralisation and we use that to actually rehabilitate the mine site. So, for example, we might pick up some tailings, put them back through the processing plant and ultimately put those tailings back into the original pit to assist with the facilitation of rehabilitation.
Lelde Smits: Australia is known for its mining but this is not really a model that is that well known. Why is that?
Patrick Walta: I think it’s an innovative approach, it’s a new approach. Australia has been very fortunate to have had some significant mineral assets over the years and only just now, those large scale assets are starting to come towards the end of their first mine life. So, we see some great opportunities as these mines begin to close or their reserves begin to dwindle to acquire these assets and continue with their operations but very much with a focus on ultimate rehabilitation of the mine site.
Lelde Smits: Overall Patrick, what do you see are the biggest benefits of economic rehabilitation, especially in regards to that older model and how do you see it really evolving in Australia and more broadly, the world?
Patrick Walta: In principle, economic rehabilitation allows a much more efficient way of rehabilitating mine sites. So, ultimately bringing costs out of those closure cost models, putting them into an operating cost model which has revenue attached to it. So, a significant benefit to efficiency and also, it assists with continued value and improvement for the local communities and local stakeholders for a longer period of time.
Lelde Smits: Thank you very much for that very educational update and I look forward to seeing how you are going to be using that model to aid your own operations.
Patrick Walta: Thanks Lelde, thanks for your time.