Capricorn copper mine to reopen, nearly 300 jobs to come

Capricorn copper mine

The Queensland Government has granted a prescribed project status to Capricorn copper mine, allowing it to reopen and bring more jobs to the state.

The former Mount Gordon mine, located around 125km north of Mt Isa, was mothballed in 2013 following declining copper prices.

It was then sold to joint venture partners Lighthouse Minerals and EMR Capital in 2015.

Natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham said the prescribed project status allows the coordinator-general to assist with getting the mine’s government approvals on time.

He added that the mine could bring around 90 jobs during construction and more than 200 direct operational jobs by the third quarter of 2017.

The joint venture has also committed to selecting workers, suppliers and contractors from Mt Isa and other north-west Queensland communities including Cloncurry.

Capricorn is expected to produce 30,000 tonnes per annum of metal in concentrate over an initial 10-year mine life.

Lynham added that the company is investing an additional $14 million in exploration over the next two years to find more major resources and further extend the life of the mine.

“This is new investment in one of the world’s most valuable base metal areas, and clear evidence of the opportunities still to be had in the north-west,” he said.

Production at Capricorn is slated for October this year.