Australia’s largest new mine one step closer
One of Australia’s largest planned resources developments, OZ Minerals’ $975 million Carrapateena copper mine in South Australia, has reached two key milestones this week.
Representatives from OZ Minerals and Traditional Owners, the Kokatha people, traveled to the site, located 450 kilometers north of Adelaide, to sign a landmark agreement to partner on the project.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill officially opened a planned 5.5km underground decline or tunnel to access and mine one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits.
“We are delighted to commence this exciting project in partnership with the Kokatha people. The robust economics of the Carrapateena project will deliver huge benefits to the community and State of South Australia,” OZ Minerals’ Chairman Neil Hamilton said.
The partnering agreement, ‘NGANAMPA PALYANKU KANYINTJAKU’ translated from Kokatha means ‘keeping the future good for all of us’.
“This encapsulates the outcome of the process and the feelings of my community,” Chris Larkin, chairman of Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation, said.
Coupled with the future opportunity to expand the Carrapateena project is the construction of an offsite high-tech copper Concentrate Treatment Plant, which will allow a purer and more valuable form of copper concentrate to be exported globally.
The Carrapateena project is expected to create over 1000 jobs in the construction to production phase, with an estimated 20-plus year mine life and will pump millions of dollars into regional South Australia.
“We believe this is an ideal time in the resources cycle to be undertaking a significant capital investment,” Oz Minerals’ managing director and CEO Andrew Cole said.
“The long term outlook for copper is strong, while right now development and construction costs are lower.
“Although we are taking a prudent approach to rolling out this project, we are confident about the economic benefits it will deliver locally and nationally.”
Following a community consultation process and completion of both a Pre-Feasibility and a Feasibility Study, the OZ Minerals Board will undertake a final approval process for the project in 2017.