OZ Minerals develops new mining provinces

OZ Minerals Prominent Hill mine

Prominent Hill. Image: OZ Minerals.

OZ Minerals has identified expansions at its Prominent Hill and Carrapateena operations in South Australia as potential multi-generational, low-cost mining provinces in its latest Annual and Sustainability Report.

The company also stated that its Arkani Ngura National Innovation and Technology Centre at OZ’s Prominent Hill operations is expected to be established within the next three years, with OZ contributing $7.5 million for an in-kind and cash contribution to support the South Australian Government’s commitment of $8 million in funding to establish the centre.

Arkani Ngura means the “try it place” in the local Traditional Owner language, and the centre will allow start-ups, small/medium enterprises, researchers and international groups from the resources, space and other related sectors to access the unique conditions of the soon to be unused Ankata section of the Prominent Hill underground mine.

It is an Australian first and will serve as a test environment and facility for participants.

The Prominent Hill $600 million Wira Shaft expansion was approved and work on the shaft collar is now well advanced.

At the Carrapateena mine, OZ safely completed the construction of the Western Access Road in the past year as part of its block cave expansion.

The Western Access Road is approximately 55 km long and extends from the Stuart Highway to the Carrapateena mine, providing direct access to Carrapateena and a safer and lower-cost haul route to the Stuart Highway.

The Carrapateena block cave expansion was approved by the OZ Minerals Board in February 2021 and decline development is now underway as of December.

Processing performance at Carrapateena continues to be enhanced, with projects for the mine and processing plant underway to support the increase in sub-level cave production rates to circa 4.7-5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) from 2023, along with the optionality to maximise sub-level cave production and accelerate progress towards the Block Cave production rate of 12 Mtpa.

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