Glencore in ‘hiring frenzy’ as it readies to restart Lady Loretta zinc mine

Phased production will begin at the Lady Loretta mine in Australia (pictured) during the first half of 2018, with 100,000 tonnes in 2018 and an additional 60,000 tonnes in 2019. (Image courtesy of PYBAR Mining Services.)

Swiss miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) has begun hiring for a number of new positions at its Lady Loretta zinc mine in Australia, which is slated to reopen in the first half of this year.

Production at the Queensland-based operation was halted in 2015 because of falling zinc prices. Since then, the metal has more than doubled, so Glencore — the world’s No.1 zinc producer — announced in December it would resume mining at Lady Loretta.

According to Townsville Bulletin, the restart will create 250 jobs, including project and geotech engineers, maintenance managers, shift supervisors, mechanics and dozen other positions.

The reopening is planned in phases, with the mine expected to produce 100,000 tonnes of zinc this year and an additional 60,000 tonnes in 2019.

Lady Loretta only represents about a third of the production that Glencore suspended two years ago. In August, chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg said the company had about 500,000 metric tonnes of zinc capacity that would be restarted at “the right point in the cycle.”

Other than that imminent supply there is additional capacity coming online in the short term, including MMG’s Dugald River project in Australia and Vedanta’s Gamsberg mine in South Africa.

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