Australian miner OZ Minerals’ expansion plans at Carapateena would increase its output to 12mn mt a year from the projected 4.7-5mn mt from 2023, according to the company. Copper production would nearly double to 110,000-120,000mt annually from 2026.
Carapateena is a copper-gold mine and OZ Minerals has planned to transform the South Australian mine into a block cave operation that would significantly increase its mine life. The company carried out a pre-feasibility study which stated that converting the lower portion of the sub-level cave would improve its mine life and value.
The block-cave transformation is likely to double its annual production of both gold and copper. Copper production is expected to increase to 110,000-120,000mt annually, and gold will be in the range of 110,000-120,000 ounces from 2026. The first stage of the expansion feasibility study at Carapateena is expected to be finished by the end of 2021.
Several major projects are stalled due to the virus and now have uncertain timelines, said the company. There is an increasing smelting capacity build-out in China due to COVID-19, there are production interruptions in smelting activities, but they are temporary, stated the company. The company also stated that copper’s long term fundamentals remain highly attractive, despite being hurt by COVID-19.
Acquisition of Cassini Resources
OZ Minerals is set to acquire Cassini Resources, which would give the company complete ownership of the nickel-copper project in Western Australia. OZ Minerals had 70pc stake in the West Musgrave project which post the acquisition of Cassini Resources would turn into 100pc. The West Musgrave project comprises three nickel and copper sulphide deposits. Cassini had acquired the project from BHP in 2014.