- Rosslyn Hill Mining's Paroo Station Lead Mine granted environmental approvals to expand 400 hectares and build hydrometallurgical facility on-site
- Expansion expected to create up to 300 jobs during construction and up to 250 ongoing jobs
- New technology will be used to transform lead concentrate into lead ingots
- Lead metal continues to be vital in renewable energy and electric car industries
Innovative world-first technology, sparking a brand new process to transform lead concentrate into lead ingots, will be used to revitalise and expand operations at Rosslyn Hill Mining's Paroo Station Lead Mine near Wiluna.
The State Government has granted environmental approvals for the 400-hectare expansion to the mine site, which will enable Rosslyn Hill Mining to operate a hydrometallurgical facility on-site to process lead concentrate.
Premier Mark McGowan visited the Environmental Protection Authority-approved mine site, which is expected to create up to 300 jobs during the construction phase and up to 250 ongoing jobs once operations begin.
In a first of its kind technology, methanesulphonic acid will be used to leach the lead from concentrate and recover lead metal using conventional electrowinning equipment and melting to create lead bars, known as ingots.
It will be the first time a chemical process will be used on-site to produce metal ingots rather than a traditional smelting process.
Lead ingots avoid the need to handle and transport concentrate and eliminate the risk of accidental spillage when transported. The new process is expected to create a safer environmental outcome than historic lead processes.
About 70,000 tonnes of lead metal per annum is expected to be processed through Rosslyn Hill Mining's operations.
Lead metal plays an important part in renewable energy, and the expansion of the industry complements Western Australia's growing position as a global leader in lithium and energy materials.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"It's a credit to Western Australia that this brand new technology will be used in our State for the first time.
"The expansion of Paroo Station Lead Mine operations will mean more job opportunities for Western Australians living in the regions, with hundreds of jobs expected to be created during and after construction.
"Lead continues to play an important role in the renewable energy and electric car industries, so using new and safer technologies to source and refine lead will create more opportunities for its use in future projects.
"Further expansion and growth in the battery materials value chain strengthens Western Australia's position as a global leader in lithium and energy materials and supports this Government's focus in boosting the State's economy and creating jobs."
Premier's office - 6552 5000