London listed Xstrata (LON:XTA) started Thursday copper production at its $310 million (A$300) Mount Margaret operation in north-west Queensland, Australia.
The news comes after mining activities have been going on for a month already‚ with ore now being trucked to the Ernest Henry Mining for processing.
Xstrata Copper, which purchased the Mount Margaret mining tenements last year for $180 million, said it would invest a further $128 million in the operation over the next five years.
The mine will add around 30,000 tonnes of annual copper production to Ernest Henry Mining over this period and strengthen the economics of Ernest Henry by taking immediate advantage of the available installed capacity of the concentrator and associated infrastructure.
Ernest Henry Mining general manager, Myles Johnston, said Mount Margaret was progressing on target with personnel and machinery gradually ramping up in line with the production schedule.
“Approximately four million tons of material has been mined since we started the pre-strip in July‚” Johnston said.
Xstrata said it plans to continue exploration at the site to identify any additional ore resources for future development.