OZ Minerals is well placed to execute a major company expansion in South Australia this year with the completion of construction at Carrapateena and the ramp-up of Prominent Hill.
The company, which is coming off what it has called a “reliable” 2018, increased revenues and maintained steady profits last year to support a copper-focused growth strategy.
Prominent Hill guided this performance, delivering copper and gold production above guidance and operating costs below the company’s expected range.
OZ Minerals chief executive officer Andrew Cole said 2018 marked a step change for the company, with Prominent Hill driving the development of its asset base and construction of Carrapateena continuing as planned.
“Our focus in 2019 will be on the safe ramp-up of the Prominent Hill underground to 3.7–4 million tonnes and advancing our knowledge of underground expansion optionality,” Cole said.
“The Carrapateena project continues to develop on schedule with first concentrate production on track for fourth quarter 2019.
“The outcomes of the expansion scoping study, which aims to maximise value from the Carrapateena orebody and wider options for the province are expected next month.”
In addition to Prominent Hill and Carrapateena, OZ Minerals is advancing the West Musgrave copper-nickel project in Western Australia through a pre-feasibility study.
The company returned positive early results from metallurgical testing and drilling at West Musgrave during 2018.
OZ Minerals also plans to optimise and expand exploration at its Brazilian projects, acquired last year through the takeover of Avanco Resources.
“This year will also see an increased spend on exploration, project studies and drilling commitments as we continue to advance our pipeline of opportunities to build value accretive optionality across the business,” Cole said.
OZ Minerals’ revenue increased to $1.117 billion in 2018 despite a weaker copper market in the second half of the year. The company also recorded $222 million in profits, a slight drop from its 2017 result.