OZ Minerals is targeting higher production at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia this year on the back of strong performance and record gold prices.
Its output guidance for the year now stands at 190,000–200,000 ounces, up from 175,000–190,000 ounces due to solid grade reconciliation and improved recoveries.
OZ Minerals produced 14,891 tonnes of copper and 51,629 ounces of gold during the September quarter.
The mine achieved record underground ore movement with one million tonnes for the period, and underwent accelerated development of the decline to support an increase in mining rates to 4–5 million tonnes a year starting 2022.
“The third quarter saw a solid production performance from our assets and progress milestones achieved on our growth projects,” OZ Minerals chief executive Andrew Cole said.
“Annual gold production guidance has been increased as a result of continued strong grade performance and recoveries at Prominent Hill and annual cost guidance has been further reduced on the back of continuing strong gold prices and maintained cost performance.”
OZ Minerals has slashed its group cash costs by 12 per cent, and its all-in sustaining cost (AISC) by 25 per cent.
The company expects to release an expansion study update for Prominent Hill next month.
Its ramp up at the Carrapateena gold-copper mine in South Australia is also on track to reach 4.25 million tonnes by year-end, with Cole stating that the ramp up had continued to deliver to revised ramp up targets.
“(This provides) further confidence in achieving steady state operations by the end of the year, some six months earlier than originally anticipated,” he said.
The stage one Carrapateena block cave expansion feasibility study also commenced during the September quarter and is targeted for completion in late 2021.
OZ Minerals aims to de-risk the potential conversion of the lower portion of the sub-level cave to a series of block caves.
At the West Musgrave project in Western Australia, OZ Minerals expects to complete its updated pre-feasibility study in December following its acquisition of former owner Cassini Resources earlier this month.