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Oz Minerals extends Prominent Hill mine life estimate to 2030

Resources & Energy

The mine life of Oz Minerals’ Prominent Hill copper-gold operation in South Australia has been extended until 2030 following a 50 per cent increase to underground Proved Reserves.

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The 2 per cent increase in underground ore reserves after mining depletion has extended the Prominent Hill mine life by a year, enabling the expected underground production rate of 3.5-4.0Mtpa from 2019 to continue into 2030.

The Adelaide-based miner today released updated Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates as at 30 June 2018 for Prominent Hill and an initial Inferred Resource for Fremantle Doctor as at 12 November 2018.

Underground Ore Reserve tonnes and contained metal at Prominent Hill remain in line with the previous year, with open pit and underground mining depletion partially offset by increases in underground Ore Reserves. Improved geological confidence from diamond drilling activity through the year resulted in Proved underground Ore Reserves increasing by 50 per cent to 28Mt.

Oz Minerals Managing Director and CEO Andrew Cole said the increase in underground Proved Reserves materially increased confidence in the Prominent Hill ore body and further de-risked Life of Mine planning.

“Prominent Hill has again demonstrated the ability to extend mine life through conversion of its extensive resource base, whilst reliably delivering production and costs to guidance,” he said.

“With an estimated 80Mt of underground mineral resource outside of the Ore Reserve, we will continue our drilling program to convert more material in Reserves with the aim of extending mine life year on year.”

Underground at Prominent Hill.

Prominent Hill first came on stream in 2009 and now produces over 100,000 tonnes of copper every year. The open pit aspect of the operation concluded in Q1 2018.

The Fremantle Doctor prospect is also in South Australia, adjacent to Oz Minerals Carrapateena copper-gold project 160km north of Port Augusta.

An initial estimated Inferred Resource of 104Mt @ 0.7 per cent copper and 0.5g/t gold has been released for Fremantle Doctor. The resource lies just over 2km from the Carrapateena ore body and will be considered in the broader Carrapateena life of province planning and expansion studies as an adjunct development to the Carrapateena project.

“This provides another valuable input into our life of province planning and will help inform our expansion studies that are currently in progress,” Cole said.

“In addition to releasing an updated Carrapateena Mineral Resource estimate in Q1 2019, we are working on updated resource statements for West Musgrave, Antas, Pedra Branca and CentroGold, and an initial resource statement for Pantera.

“These will be progressively released through 2019 and build on the consolidated OZ Minerals position.”

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