The approval of the amended Mining Management Plan 2020 allows Glencore to continue operations at the McArthur River mine


The McArthur River open-pit zinc, lead and silver mine is located approximately 700km south-east of Darwin. (Credit: Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay)

The state government of Northern Territory (NT) in Australia has approved Glencore’s major expansion plan for the McArthur River zinc mine.

Located approximately 700km south-east of Darwin, and approximately 45km south-west of the township of Borroloola, the McArthur River open-pit zinc, lead and silver mine operations include an on-site processing plant and the Bing Bong Loading Facility (BBLF) located on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The approval of the amended Mining Management Plan 2020 allows the company to continue mining activities at the McArthur River mine while supporting on-going employment of around 1000.

With the approval, Glencore is allowed to increase the size of the mine to extend its productive life until 2048.

Operational since 1995, the McArthur River mine is said to be one of the world’s largest zinc resources.

Mining Management Plan 2020 outlines sustainable resource development of McArthur River mine

The Mining Management Plan 2020 outlines the sustainable ongoing resource development of the MRM while reducing environmental impacts. The plan also outlines steps to ensure long-term beneficial use of the land post-closure.

With the latest authorisation, McArthur River Mining is allowed to commence activities in compliance with the Overburden Management Project (OMP).

McArthur River Mining (MRM) is the operator of the Mine, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Glencore.

The OMP includes the 30 recommendations developed by the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) for the mine.

Northern Territory Mining and Industry Minister Nicole Manison said: “The Territory Labor Government is supporting jobs and protecting the environment through strict regulation for the McArthur River Mine and its future operations.

“Our resources industry is one of the biggest contributors to the NT economy, and our strong future in mining will play a huge role in making the Territory the comeback capital of Australia.”

The approval, however, comes despite the rejection of the company’s application by the state’s authority responsible for the protection of Aboriginal sacred sites.