The Rosebery Mine is performing strongly, even as the fight for its future ticks closer to its deadline.
The West Coast mine - which needs a new tailings storage solution by 2024 if it and its 500 jobs are to continue beyond then - made good money in the first half of the year.
Owner MMG Limited reported the mine's revenue increased by $83.8 million to $248.3 million, compared with the first half of 2020.
The mine's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased by 119 per cent to $146.3 million.
MMG attributed the revenue result to higher zinc, silver, lead and copper prices.
"The strong production performance was mainly driven by higher mill throughput, higher average feed grades and higher precious metal production," the company said in its interim results report
A longer term future looked likely if the tailings issue could be dealt with.
"Resource extension and near mine exploration drilling will continue during 2021, with results continuing to indicate further extensions to the resource and mine life," MMG said.
It said it would continue to target reduced production costs and mine life extension through resource extension drilling during the current half-year.
MMG's proposed tailings storage facility at its preferred South Marionoak site will require full assessment under federal environmental law.
The plan has been strongly opposed by environmentalists, led by the Bob Brown Foundation.
MMG put preparatory work at South Marionoak on hold in July.
" ... we have been forced to pause our works at South Marionoak whilst we deal with unwarranted legal threats from the Bob Brown Foundation," the company said at the time.
Hong Kong-listed MMG, which mines in several countries, had a strong half-year overall.
It reported net profit after tax of $804.7 million, in a huge turnaround from a loss of $251.8 million in the first half of 2020.
"The strong profit was driven by higher commodity prices, increased production and the sale of Las Bambas stockpiles," chief executive Geoffrey Gao said.
Las Bambas is a big copper operation in Peru.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.