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Oz Minerals on track for November production at Carrapateena

Mining & Resources

Oz Minerals is on schedule to produce the first saleable concentrate from its Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia next month.

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The company has stockpiled more than 180,000 tonnes of development ore on the surface and the site is now connected to the electricity grid network.

Carrapateena’s minerals processing plant is in the commissioning phase and underground decline development has moved beyond the fifth production level access.

Headquartered in Adelaide, Oz Minerals operates the Prominent Hill copper-gold-silver mine in northern South Australia and the Antas copper-gold mine in northern Brazil.

The company is on track to produce 103,000 – 115,500 tonnes of copper and 123,400 – 136,900 ounces of gold from its operations in 2019.

This includes 2000-4000 tonnes of copper and 3000-6000 ounces of gold from Carrapateena, which is about 470km north of the South Australian capital Adelaide.

Carrapateena is set to become the state’s second largest copper mine behind BHP’s Olympic Dam, the world’s fourth largest copper resource.

An aerial view of the Carrapateena mine site.

Oz Minerals Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cole said production drilling had commenced on Carrapateena’s first production level.

“The site is now connected to the grid network and staged energisation of the minerals processing plant is underway,” he said.

“Underground crusher chamber works are well advanced and the conveyor decline installation is tracking to plan.

“Looking ahead to the end of the year, we are firmly focused on delivering the first saleable concentrate at Carrapateena and achieving our forecast production, cost and other targets at Prominent Hill.”

Oz Minerals’ pre-feasibility study of its West Musgrave copper-nickel project in central Australia is expected to be completed with a maiden Ore Reserve in early 2020 while a feasibility study is continuing in the Carajas province in Brazil.

“Following a visit to Brazil this month by the OZ Minerals Board we are progressing initial early works at Pedra Branca, the first element of our Carajás hub strategy, whilst advancing the feasibility study,” Cole said.

“The study is now focused on realising operating cost opportunities, final mine design, pre-concentration trials and tailings studies utilising the Antas open pit.

“We will continue to progress the West Musgrave pre-feasibility study as we investigate and pursue value enhancing opportunities including the Loesche Mill technology, which potentially offers significant power and cost savings.”

South Australia is a globally important producer of copper, uranium and zircon.

The state also produces iron ore, zinc, lead, silver, industrial minerals and extractive materials.

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