View looking towards industrial sheds and old brick chimney, part of the site of the Mt Lyell copper mine in the west coast town of Queenstown, Tasmania

The Tasmanian Government will invest the remainder of its $9.5 million contribution ($2.3 million) to the revitalisation of the Mt Lyell copper mine, which ceased operations in 2014 following the death of three workers.

The total $9.5 million funding package was first announced in 2017, with the remaining $2.3 million released to Copper Mines of Tasmania, the owner of the Mt Lyell Mine.

The mine has since been tentatively purchased by New Century Resources, which will invest $13 million in exploration and development costs for the next two years before making a final decision on the purchase agreement.

Tasmanian Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing, Guy Barnett, said the funding would improve the mine’s ‘valuable’ infrastructure ahead of a potential restart.

“To help get the mine going again we will now provide almost $2.3 million in grant funding to Copper Mines of Tasmania, the owner of the Mt Lyell Mine, to help protect and improve the mine’s valuable infrastructure and help pave the way for a restart,” Mr Barnett said.

“This funding is the remaining part of the $9.5 million financial assistance package we announced in 2017.

“It recognises the important strides the company has already made in upgrading the facility and equipment, and this further support may just be the impetus to get mining operations restarted.”

State Minister for Resources, Felix Ellis, said a restart of the mine could employ up to 100 staff.

“We also acknowledge New Century Resources who have entered into an option agreement to transfer ownership of Copper Mines of Tasmania and the Mt Lyell mine which is a significant show of confidence and recognition of the huge potential that remains in the site,” Mr Ellis said.

“Should a restart of the mine occur, it is expected the mine would directly employ around 100 staff plus a further 140 full-time equivalent contractors, with up to 120 additional contractors during the redevelopment phase.”


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