On 28 February MMG entered into agreements with Century Mine Rehabilitation Project Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Century Bull Pty Ltd (Century Bull), to effect the transfer of the former Century zinc mine.

For further information on the sale, please read the Media Release.

Century mine was Australia’s largest open-cut zinc mine and 2015 saw its final year of production. The last ore to be processed at Century was 450,000 tonnes that had been mined as part of Dugald River’s stoping trial, and then trucked to Lawn Hill. The processing of this ore was completed in January 2016.

Located at Lawn Hill, 250km north-west of Mount Isa in the Lower Gulf of Carpentaria, the mine began open-pit production in 1999.

During its 16 years of operation, Century produced and processed zinc and lead concentrates at Lawn Hill. The product has been transferred in slurry form via a 304km underground pipeline to Century’s Port facility at Karumba for shipping to smelters in Australia, Europe and Asia.

Mining was completed at Century in August 2015, with final processing of Century-sourced ore occurring in November 2015.

century mine

The Century Pit during operations, facing west. 



Even though Century ended all production and shipping by January 2016, there is still activity at our Lawn Hill and Karumba sites.

The Lawn Hill lease covers 23,000ha. Of this area, approximately 11% has been disturbed by mining activities. The remaining 89% of the lease has been undisturbed by mining.An important part of mine closure is rehabilitation planning and implementation. MMG is investing in rehabilitation that will see both the Lawn Hill and Karumba sites return to their pre-mining states. In the case of the Lawn Hill lease, this means the lease will be suitable for light cattle grazing.

After an initial three-year period of ‘active closure’ where the focus is on bulk earthworks, the Lawn Hill site enters a ‘passive closure’ phase lasting for approximately 30 years. During this period, Caring for Country activities will become the focus. Where possible, these activities will be carried out using the skills of local Indigenous people. 


Key milestones

1869 Base metals discovered in Lawn Hill area
1887 Silver King deposit discovered
1987 Exploration rights granted to CRA (now Rio Tinto)
1990 Century deposit discovered
1997 Pasminco buys Century lease from CRA
1997 Gulf Communities Agreement (GCA) signed between Century Mine, the Queensland Government and the Waayni, Kukatj, Mingginda and Gkuthaarn Native Title Groups
1999 First shipment of zinc concentrates
2004 Zinifex listed and buys Century from Pasminco
2005 RE Joint Venture ends
2008 Zinifex & Oxiana merge to form OZ Minerals as owner-operator
2009 MMG buys Century from Oz Minerals
2015 End of open pit production

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