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Carrapateena copper project progresses beyond primary approvals

Mining & Resources

A major copper gold project in South Australia will prepare for Phase 2 of its construction this month following approvals from the state and federal governments.

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The A$916 million Oz Minerals Carrapateena project is one of the largest mines being developed in Australia and is expected to generate around 1000 jobs from construction through to production.

The Mining Lease and Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) approvals conclude the primary approvals required for the project

Located approximately 160km north of Port Augusta in the north of South Australia, Carrapateena will be a 4.25Mtpa copper-gold underground mine with an estimated life of 20 years. Life of mine average annual production is expected to be 65,000 tonnes of copper and 67,000 ounces of gold.

“Receiving the Mining Lease and EPBC approval is the product of significant effort on the part of the State Government working closely with the Federal Department to ensure this project received a robust and thorough review,” said OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole.

“We have also had our detailed operational plan (Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation) approved by the South Australian Government, representing the conclusion of a significant amount of work on behalf of government departments.”

Carrapateena is currently in Phase 1 of construction, which includes a 550-bed accommodation village and airstrip, as well as the continued development of the dual access underground decline with an estimated commissioning date of Q4 2019.

Phase 2 comprises the construction of above ground infrastructure, including the processing plant, tailings storage facility, underground materials handling system, access roads and power line.

Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), OZ Minerals has a focus on copper and also owns the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine. The South Australian-based company is also progressing the West Musgrave project, Australia’s largest undeveloped copper-nickel resource, currently in Pre-Feasibility Study phase.

South Australia hosts 68 per cent of Australia’s economic demonstrated resources of copper. It also produces about a quarter of Australia’s mined copper production and is home to a number of long-life deposits, including Olympic Dam.

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