Northparkes Mines has had its future secured after gaining approval to extend the life of the operation to 2032.
The mine, which changed hands from Rio Tinto to China Molybdenum last year in a deal worth $US820 million, had initially looked at expanding the site.
However after assessing a number of scenarios, the focus changed to mine life extension opportunities and has now completed the approval process.
Northparkes Mines Managing Director, Stefanie Loader made the announcement on site last week, Parkes Champion-Post reported.
“It is with great excitement that I announce we have full approval for our Mine Life Extension Project from both the NSW and Federal Governments,” Loader said.
“This approval extends Northparkes’ mine life until 2032, an additional seven years, and secures our business’ long term future.”
Construction can now start on the Rosedale Tailings Storage Facility which will allow the mine to continue production past 2016.
Northparkes employs 309 people, with workforce and production levels to remain steady during its extra seven years of life.
Currently about 6 million tonnes comes out from the underground mine every year.
The mine exports most of the copper concentrate it produces to Japan, China and India.
Mayor Ken Keith said approval of the Northparkes mine extension was good news for the local area.
“Over the past 20 years Northparkes has been a wonderful corporate citizen,” Keith said.
“The mine provides a Community Investment Program, sponsorships of local events such as the Elvis Festival Street parade and GP Cup, as well as funding council partnership positions.
“I am very pleased that this announcement will allow our strong relationship to continue.”