OZ Minerals keeps Carrapateena on track

Core samples at Carrapateena. Image: OZ Minerals.

OZ Minerals’ development of the Carrapateena copper-gold project in South Australia is taking shape as planned.

The company spent $92 million on the development of Carrapateena during the June quarter as the project moves towards commissioning late next year.

Downer EDI took over from PYBAR Mining Services as Carrapateena’s underground contractor last month and activities remained on schedule despite the transition, according to OZ. A further 6825m of underground development was completed in the quarter.

The September quarter will see underground activities expanded to include access development for future underground crusher installations.

OZ’s infrastructure development at Carrapateena included completion of the airstrip.

The company also allocated $5 million in funding for Carrapateena expansion planning.

OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive Andrew Cole said, “Carrapateena decline development continues its excellent progress and has safely transitioned to Downer EDI, our new underground mining partner.

“Airstrip construction is complete and processing plant and non-process infrastructure construction is under way. Province expansion drilling at Khamsin has also returned some very encouraging results.”

OZ’s Carrapateena province expansion drill at Khamsin delivered a return of 402.6m at 1.55 per cent copper equivalent.

The company’s Prominent Hill mine in South Australia produced 27,131t of copper and 28,121oz of gold in the June quarter.

Prominent Hill’s underground grades were lower than the previous quarter due to stope sequencing. The mine’s copper grade is, however, expected to increase in the September quarter.

“Prominent Hill saw solid, consistent production that is tracking to guidance,” Cole said. “With the drawdown of the open pit stockpile now in place for a full quarter, AISC (all-in sustain costs) and C1 (direct costs) are lower with no further open pit mining costs or related overheads to be incurred.”

OZ also secured a compulsory acquisition of Avanco Resources, which owns several assets in Brazil, during the June quarter. It expects to complete the acquisition in August.