Melbourne — Australia’s New Century Resources is on track to turn a giant tailings dam into the world’s fifth-biggest source of zinc as it defies doubters to make its first shipment in August, said Patrick Walta, the mineral processor’s MD. New Century is processing the tailings, or the residue left over from previously mined ore, at the Century mine, previously the world’s largest zinc mine. The firm expects the project will prove it is possible to rehabilitate mine sites for profit in an industry where remediation has been seen only as a cost. "We want to be the Australian premier mine rehabilitation company," said Walta, who first started looking at economic mine rehabilitation with his firm Raging Bull a decade ago. "For us, Century is great. It puts us on the map," he said in an interview on Tuesday.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.