HomeMinesTASMount Lyell
P: 03 6471 4123 F: 03 6471 1916


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The Mount Lyell copper mine, located on the West Coast of Tasmania, has been in continuous operation for over 100 years. Production began at the mine in 1896. It was re-opened by CMT (Copper Mines of Tasmania) in 1995 and in 1999 it was acquired by Monte Cello BV, a company that became a subsidiary of Indian copper smelter, Sterlite Industries, in 2000. Sterlite Industries is a part of the Vedantra Group. Since the Sterlite acquisition Mount Lyell has increased its production from two million tonnes to 2.7 million tonnes of ore a year.

Mount Lyell Mine Produces 30,000 Tonnes of Contained Copper a Year

The Mount Lyell Mine, an underground operation, is currently mining 1000 metres below the surface using sub-level caving methods. It is currently retrieving around 30,000 tonnes of contained copper a year in concentrate form and up until now has produced 1.8 million tonnes of copper, 62 tonnes of gold and 1,300 tonnes of silver. It is supplying seven percent of Sterlite's copper requirements at its Tuticorin smelter in India. The mine still has JORC compliant reserves of around 9.5 million tonnes of ore containing 1.25 percent copper. In the financial year 2009/10 the Mount Lyell Mine treated just short of 2.12 million tonnes of ore that resulted in producing 23,777 tonnes of contained copper concentrate.

Mount Lyell Decline Travels 6.5 Kilometres to get to one Kilometre Underground

The decline at the mine travels a distance of 6.5 kilometres to get to the 1000 metre level. Ore is transported by tuck along the decline to the primary crusher. Primary crushing at Mount Lyell occurs underground after which the ore is taken to the surface by means of a 600 metre shaft to be transported over a kilometre by conveyor belt to the concentrator plant. Once the ore reaches the concentrator it is crushed again. In fact it is crushed over three stages until it can be ground into a fine slurry that allows the copper sulphide minerals to be concentrated. At this stage the concentrate is filtered before being taken by road transport to Melba Flats where it is loaded onto trains for the rest of the journey to the port at Burnie for shipment to Sterlite's copper smelter in India. The concentrate that is exported to India is made up of:

• Silver – 35 to 40 grams for every dry tonne of concentrate

• Gold – 4 to 5 grams for every dry tonne of concentrated

• Copper – 28 percent

Tailings are discharged into the tailings dam at Princess Creek, eight and a half kilometres from the mine site. Further development at the Mount Lyell Mine will, most likely, include the Western Tharsis where there remains over 10 million tonnes of ore in an untapped deposit that contains 1.3 percent copper.

Mount Lyell Mine is Situated Within the Town Boundary of Queenstown

The Mount Lyell Mine is located within the town boundary of Queenstown that has a population of around 2,000 people. Queenstown is linked by sealed roads to the state capital of Hobart, as well as to Burnie and Launceston. The nearest city being Burnie, 160 kilometres to its north. The mine itself started in 1883 as a gold mine.

Sterlite Industries

Sterlite Industries is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, a metals and mining company with operations in India and Australia.Originally incorporated in 1975 as Rainbow Investments Limited in Calcutta and later changing their name to Sterlite Industries in 1986.Entering into Australia in 1999 after...........read more


Sterlite Industries
Penghana Rd
Queenstown, TAS 7467



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