OZ Minerals has secured a mining lease for the $916 million Carrapateena copper-gold project in South Australia, clearing the way for it to start the second phase of mine construction this month.
In addition to the South Australian Government granting the mining lease, OZ has also received the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act approval for Carrapateena from the Australian Government.
Carrapateena, which is expected to create 1000 jobs during construction, is one of the largest mines being developed in Australia.
It is expected to have life-of-mine average annual production of 65,000t of copper and 67,000oz of gold.
OZ chief executive officer Andrew Cole said the Australian and South Australian Governments ensured the project received a robust and thorough review.
“We have also had our detailed operational plan approved by the South Australian Government, representing the conclusion of a significant amount of work on behalf of government departments,” Cole said.
OZ developed a two-phase work program for the development of the Carrapateena project. The in-process phase one involves construction of infrastructure, including a 550-bed accommodation village and airstrip, as well as development of a dual-access underground decline.
According to OZ, phase two comprises construction of processing and above-ground infrastructure, including the processing plant, tailings storage facility, underground materials handling system, access roads and power lines.
OZ approved the development of Carrapateena last August. The operation has been forecast to reach production in the second half of next year.