A Look At Xstrata
Worldwide, the demand for copper is rising. Copper is used in electrical wiring and computer components such as integrated circuits. Although the greatest demand for the mineral is in electronics, copper is also used to make more energy efficient motors. It is used in architecture, roofing and plumbing.
Copper alloys are used in the shipping industry and in aquaculture. There are antimicrobial applications that make the material desirable for use in hospitals, hotels and the food service industry.
Xstrata plans to increase copper production by more than 50% over the next three years. This expansion will create a need for additional employees. The company employs around 1900 people at a single copper mining location.
Zinc is another material that is in high demand. The mineral is an anti-corrosion agent used in galvanisation to coat iron or steel. In 2009, 893 thousand tons of zinc were used for galvanisation in the U.S. alone.
The copper alloys mentioned above may contain as much as 45% zinc. Zinc-copper alloys are also used in communication equipment, musical instruments and water valves. Nickel silver alloys also contain zinc.
Xstrata announced plans near the end of 2012 to increase high grade zinc production at the Lady Loretta mine in Queensland. The plan is to increase production by 33% at the mine to some 1.6 million tonnes per year. Originally, the mine was designed to produce only about a million tonnes per year.
There will be a need for construction crews until the batch plant, paste plant, warehouse, fuel farm and power station are completed at Lady Loretta. The latest company report indicates that the surface infrastructure is 56% complete. When completed, the operation will have more than 200 permanent positions for workers.
Although primarily a zinc operation, Lady Loretta is also a source of lead and silver. About 84 grams of silver are recovered from every tonne of material mined. Nearly 5% of the total reserve is lead.
To attract employees, Xstrata offers career development, apprenticeship programs and many other opportunities for workers. The mines can only produce when they have enough people to work them.
A Look At Xstrata