Cannington is the world's largest and lowest cost silver and lead mine. It is located in Queensland, Australia and employs approximately 500 people.
The deposit was discovered by BHP Minerals in 1990 and the mine was commissioned in 1997 at a cost of some A$450 million. Full production was achieved in early 1999, since when capacity has been expanded from 1.5Mt/y of ore to over 2.2Mt/y.
The operation includes a rail-loading facility at Yurbi, about 15 km east of the town of Cloncurry, and a modern minerals concentrate handling facility at the Port of Townsville.
Cannington is an underground mine using both open-stope and bench mining methods.
The mine is expected to have a life of 20 years, with an annual production of 750 tonnes silver, 265,000 tonnes lead and 111,000 tonnes zinc. These metals are produced by a range of metallurgical processes undertaken at the site including grinding, sequential flotation and leaching.