OZ Minerals hones in on 2021 copper growth

OZ Minerals completed construction of the Carrapateena mine in early 2020.

OZ Minerals is expecting major growth from its Australian assets this year off the back of strong production at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia.

The company met its copper production and cost guidances at the Prominent Hill mine for the sixth consecutive year, delivering 46 million tonnes of the base metal in 2020.

It has given OZ Minerals confidence to ramp up growth across its portfolio, including the Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia.

OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive Andrew Cole said the company had been successful in withstanding COVID-19, which had allowed it to continue its growth strategy.

“Reflecting on the year, our culture enabled us to quickly adapt to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 environment, safely achieve our operational goals and advance our growth pipeline with the ramp up of our new Carrapateena mine and study updates on the Carrapateena expansion, Prominent Hill expansion and the West Musgrave copper-nickel project,” he said.

“(The year of) 2021 will be a year where OZ Minerals will move into our next phase of growth with major growth catalysts at all of our assets.”

Cole expects Carrapateena’s approved block cave expansion to deliver world-class potential, considering its scale, production, mine life, low-cost base and jurisdiction.

OZ Minerals will begin its block cave works in the fourth quarter of this year, while the company looks to complete and commission its tailings pump upgrade project, construct the Western Access Road and explore automation and electrification opportunities.

OZ Minerals will also aim to ramp up its underground mining rates at Prominent Hill to 4-5 million tonnes per annum and complete the site’s expansion study.

Cole said the Prominent Hill expansion study would boost production and mine life by accessing deeper ore using a shaft haulage system.

OZ Minerals boosted its net profit after tax to $213 million last year, up from $164 million in 2019 despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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