OZ Minerals edges closer to Carrapateena production

OZ Minerals' Carrapateena project Image: OZ Minerals

OZ Minerals has reported strong progress on its growth strategy, headlined by the Carrapateena operation in South Australia remaining on track for first concentrate in 2019.

The copper-gold project is expected to start production in the fourth quarter, with over 46,000 tonnes of development ore stockpiled.

Decline development at Carrapateena reached over 15,000 metres at a vertical depth of 630 metres in the June quarter, with the primary ventilation circuit to first production level now in place, according to OZ Minerals.

The company reported that the minerals processing plant and non-process infrastructure construction and procurement were approximately 80 per cent complete above ground, while the tailings storage facility is more than 90 per cent finished.

OZ Minerals’ other major South Australian operation, Prominent Hill, continues to perform in line with guidance, producing 26,959 tonnes of copper and 25,810 ounces of gold during the June quarter.

This has OZ Minerals on track to achieve its 2019 financial year copper production guidance of between 95,000-105,000 tonnes and gold output in the range of 115,000 to 125,000 ounces.

Haulage run rates of 3.7 million tonnes per annum were achieved at Prominent Hill in May, with OZ Minerals now focussed on “consistency in maintaining these rates.”

The company is also nearing completion of its Prominent Hill gold ore processing trial, with its preliminary analysis demonstrating an improvement in recoveries and throughput rates in line with expectations.

OZ Minerals chief executive officer Andrew Cole said the company’s main focus going forward was the execution of its major South Australian projects.

“Looking ahead, our main focus is on continuing to deliver to plan at Prominent Hill and advancing safely towards construction completion at the Carrapateena project,” Cole said.

“We expect to provide updates in third quarter on the Prominent Hill haulage feasibility study which is an important aspect of the Prominent Hill expansion study, and outcomes of the gold ore processing trial.”

Cole also said a progress report for the pre-feasibility study of the company’s West Musgrave operations in Western Australia was expected in the third quarter this year.

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