Carrapateena Receives Final Approvals

The Australia federal and South Australia state governments have issued the final approvals required for OZ Minerals to proceed with Phase 2 construction of its underground, sublevel-cave Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia, and OZ has awarded the contract for the construction to Downer EDI Ltd.

Phase 1 construction at Carrapateena began in September 2017 and includes enabling infrastructure such as the 550- bed accommodation village and the airstrip. Development of a dual-access decline to reach the underground mining areas is also ongoing.

Phase 2 construction will include the processing plant, tailings storage facility, underground materials handling system, access roads, and power line. The approximately 6.5-year contract is valued at A$660 million. The Carrapateena project is planned to produce an average of 65,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of copper and 67,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold in concentrates over a mine life of 20 years. Pre-production development costs are forecast at about A$916 million. Commissioning is planned for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Carrapateena Mining Lease issued by the South Australia state government and the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) approval issued by the federal government conclude the primary approvals required for the project. A Native Title Mining Agreement between OZ and the Kokatha Aboriginal Corp. was signed in September 2017. “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 CEO Andrew Cole said. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of both parties.

“We have also had our detailed operational plan (Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation) approved by the South Australian government, representing the conclusion of a significant amount of work on behalf of government departments.” The Carrapateena project is located approximately 160 km north of Port Augusta, South Australia. The life-of-mine mining rate is planned at 4.25 million mt/y of run-of-mine ore. The ore reserve estimate currently stands at 79 million mt at a copper equivalent grade of 2.31%.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 05 -