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Glencore Begins $589M Expansion of Copper Mine in Queensland

Swiss-based Glencore has invested $589 million into the expansion of the Ernest Henry Mine in Queensland. The investment aims to increase production and...

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|Jul 7|magazine5 min read

Swiss-based Glencore has invested $589 million into the expansion of the Ernest Henry Mine in Queensland. The investment aims to increase production and extend the life of the mine by transitioning the copper site from an open-pit to underground shaft mine.

“This investment in Ernest Henry has effectively added 14 years to the life of the mine to 2026,” said Glencore COO for North Queensland copper, Mike Westerman.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to sustain production at a higher rate, continue to support around 500 employees plus contractors and deliver ongoing benefits to the Cloncurry community and economy.”

Expansion of the mine will include a one-kilometer shaft, which is expected to drastically increase the production volume by facilitating access to deposits deep beneath the earth. Glencore expects to double annual metal production to 50,000 tons of copper and 70,000 ounces of gold in concentrate over an extended mine life, which is expected to reach 2026.  

The investment will also provide access to over 50 kilometers of underground development as well as the construction of a 75-meter headframe to accommodate the company’s hoisting system.

According to Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, the extension of the mine will contribute immensely to the regional economy of north-west Queensland.

“The $589 million commitment to continue to grow the mine will provide a major boost to Queensland’s economy and has secured jobs that would not have otherwise existed,” said Andrew Cripps.

“The transition to underground shaft mining will see mine operations extended to at least 2026 and provide jobs for more than 500 employees and contractors.”

The investment is expected to provide a vital boost to Glencore’s copper operations.