OZ Minerals is on the verge of starting a number of key activities at the Carrapateena copper-gold project in South Australia as it moves the development towards production next year.
The company, which today released its September quarter update, will launch construction of the Southern Access Road and tailings storage facility in the fourth quarter, with contract awards secured in early October.
The first structural concrete has also been poured for the site’s processing plant and non-process infrastructure.
Additionally, the site’s communications network is close to being completed this year, while construction of a high voltage powerline and associated infrastructure continues to progress.
The 556 rooms at the Tjungu village and other buildings have also been built.
OZ Minerals will next complete bulk earthworks and concrete works on Carrapateena’s minerals processing plant, due for onset in the first quarter and completion in the third quarter of 2019.
This will be concurrent with the establishment of Carrapateena’s underground material handling including conveyor and crusher one.
The project is on track to produce first concentrate in the fourth quarter of 2019.
OZ Minerals has injected $85 million investment into the Carrapateena project this quarter. Higher cash flows are expected in the first quarter of 2019, following the deferral of 2018 capital spend. This includes Western Access Road development (which enables project expansion) and optimised design of the tailings storage facility.
Meanwhile, OZ Minerals will bring forward its 2019 infill drilling program on the West Musgrave project in Western Australia to the fourth quarter this year to enhance its feasibility study schedule.
Copper production at the Prominent Hill is expected to hit the upper tier of its guidance and its cost at the lower tier this year.
Prominent Hill gold production also rose from 28,121 ounces (oz) in the second quarter to 36,601oz in the third quarter.