Next phase at one Australia’s largest copper-gold projects gets OK’d

OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) said Tuesday it had received approval from the South Australian government to go ahead with the next phase of development its A$916 million (roughly $704m) Carrapateena copper-gold project.

The Mining Lease and Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) allows Oz Minerals to start this month phase two of construction at the project, one of the largest mines currently being developed in Australia, which is expected to generate around 1,000 jobs.

Oz Minerals' Carrapateena project is one of the largest being developed in Australia and is expected to generate around 1000 jobs from construction through to production.

Located approximately 160km north of Port Augusta in the north of South Australia, the mine will be a 4.25 million tonnes per annum copper-gold underground operation, with an estimated life of 20 years. Life of mine average annual production is expected to be 65,000 tonnes of copper and 67,000 ounces of gold.

“Receiving the Mining Lease and EPBC approval is the product of significant effort on the part of the State Government working closely with the Federal Department to ensure this project received a robust and thorough review,” OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole, said in the statement.

Carrapateena is currently in Phase 1 of construction, which includes a 550-bed accommodation village and airstrip, as well as the continued development of the dual access underground decline with an estimated commissioning date of Q4 2019.

Phase 2 comprises the construction of above ground infrastructure, including the processing plant, tailings storage facility, underground materials handling system, access roads and power line.

South Australia hosts 68% of the country’s economic demonstrated resources of copper. It also produces about a quarter of Australia’s mined copper production and is home to a number of long-life deposits, including BHP’s Olympic Dam.

Shares in OZ Minerals, which also owns the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia, closed up 1.11% higher at A$9.09.