OZ Minerals has accelerated its plans to develop a new mine, the Carrapateena copper gold project, creating hundreds of new jobs.
Carrapatenna will be a 2.8 million tonnes per annum mine using sub-level caving, on site processing, hydromet, and a single decline, and has an expected operational life of 20 years.
It will not be pursuing a block cave option.
Approximately 400 new jobs will be created during the construction stage, with a similar level of workers needed during the operational phase from 2019 onwards.
The new mine is predicted to add around $150 million to the miner by 2019.
“Following a four month technical review of nine options, OZ Minerals has identified a sub-level caving option that we believe will generate strong returns and be funded by cash on hand and expected cash flow from the Prominent Hill mine,” the miner said in a company statement.
OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole welcomed the development.
“Our plan for Carrapateena to become a world class project that generates strong returns has taken a big step forward,” he said.
“We have identified a stand-out option that we expect will bring hundreds of jobs toe the region and make a lasting difference to the local community,” he said.
By ramping up the design and decision making process OZ Minerals plans to start building the project at a commodity low point to take advantage of the eventual upswing, as now is “less expensive to develop and the typical risks of schedule and capital overruns are lower”.
The local community and OZ’s social licence to operate will also be a key focus for the miner, as it works with the local Traditional Owners, the Kokatha people.
“This is a great opportunity for the Kokatha people and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with OZ Minerals to maximise the benefits for the local community, chair of the Kokatha board, Chris Larkin, said.
The project is located approximately 160 kilometres north of Port Augusta.