Jan 04, 2021

New Century Zinc battens down in Karumba

New Century Zinc battens down in Karumba

The shallow water transfer vessel M.V. Wunma has been secured to dock in Karumba as New Century operations keeps its head down in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Imogen.

The custom-built vessel negotiates the Norman River channel to transfer zinc concentrate to export ships anchored in the Gulf of Carpentaria loading twice a day in a 24 hour operation.

Loading zinc concentrate in the Gulf of Carpentaria

The last advice from the Bureau of Meteorology this morning had Tropical Cyclone Imogen moving further inland over the eastern gulf country.

A transition to a tropical low is expected, but heavy rainfall and localised damaging winds are a threat.

The watch zone had otherwise been cancelled between Karumba and the Gilbert River mouth.

Tropical Cyclone Imogen is expected to continue moving east-southeastwards in the short term, taking it further inland today. 

Winds should generally ease below gale force during this morning as Imogen transitions, but squally thunderstorms with more isolated damaging wind gusts remain possible for the remainder of the day.

Heavy rainfall that is likely to lead to flash flooding, flooding of low lying areas and riverine flooding is being observed about the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria coast and adjacent inland, and is likely to continue near the cyclone through Monday. 

A separate severe weather warning is current for damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall further east across the southern Peninsula and North Tropical Coast.

New Century is the largest mining operation in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The operation pumps metal concentrate in a slurry more than 300kms to Karumba.

The M.V. Wunma would remain at dock until they’d assessed changes in the Norman River said New Century Head Social Responsibility, Shane Goodwin.

There was a chance that sediment deposits brought on by the rough weather could affect the otherwise routine transfer Mr Goodwin said.

Operations at the mine site remain unaffected he said.

In the most recent reporting quarter, New Century Resources produced over 33,000 tonnes of zinc at a grade of around 48%.