OZ Minerals to close Prominent Hill pit early, save $10m

OZ Minerals has announced in a quarterly release that it plans to accelerate pit closure at its Prominent Hill copper-gold operation.

The pit was originally set to close sometime in mid-2018 as the company switched focus to its recently approved near $1 billion Carrapateena copper-gold project in South Australia, which is being funded in the black from Prominent Hill coffers.

Prominent Hill has seen strong performance over its lifespan. OZ Minerals commenced development on the mine in 2010 and entered full production in 2012.

The company has estimated a five-year life span for the project, which produced nearly 29,000 tonnes of copper and more than 29,000 ounces (0.82 tonnes) of gold over the last quarter. The pit’s early closure is expected to save the company around $10 million.

Memorably, the Prominent Hill pit was intended to be included in OZ Minerals’ asset sale to China Minmetals in 2009, but was not approved by the government due to its status as a sensitive military area.

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