OZ Minerals strengthens future of Prominent Hill

A Prominent Hill worker. Image: OZ Minerals.

OZ Minerals has extended the mine life of the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia to 2030.

The Adelaide-based company has secured a 2 per cent increase in Prominent Hill’s underground ore reserve to add another year to the operation’s mine life.

It now expects an underground production rate of between 3.5–4 million tonnes (Mt) a year from 2019 until 2030.

Prominent Hill’s underground ore reserve has risen to 40Mt at 1.7 per cent copper following the update.

OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said Prominent Hill had again demonstrated the ability to extend mine life through conversion of its extensive resource base, while reliably delivering production and costs to guidance.

“A 50 per cent increase to underground proved reserves has materially increased confidence in the Prominent hill ore body and further de-risked life of mine planning,” Cole said.

“With an estimated 80Mt of underground mineral resource outside of the ore reserve, we will continue our drilling program to convert more material into reserves, with the aim of extending mine life year on year.”

OZ Minerals has also released an initial inferred resource estimate for its Fremantle Doctor deposit, which is just over two kilometres from the Carrapateena orebody in South Australia.

The company reported an inferred resource estimate of 104Mt at 0.7 per cent copper and 0.5 grams a tonnes gold for Fremantle Doctor.

Cole said the Fremantle Doctor deposit provided another valuable input into the company’s life of province planning and would help inform expansion studies that were in progress.

“In addition to releasing an updated Carrapateena mineral resource estimate in first quarter 2019, we are working on updated resource statements for West Musgrave, Antas, Pedra Branca and CentroGold, and an initial resource statement for Pantera,” Cole said.

“These will be progressively released through 2019 and build on the consolidated OZ Minerals position.”