OZ Min­er­als

On the back of a pro­duc­tive year, OZ Min­er­als re­mains fo­cussed on de­vel­op­ing one of Aus­tralia’s largest cop­per gold re­sources, Car­ra­p­ateena, with first con­cen­trate sched­uled in 2019.

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS - JES­SICA CUM­MINS

AS the Ade­laide- based miner moves its Car­ra­p­ateena project to­wards pro­duc­tion, a num­ber of key ac­tiv­i­ties re­main on the ta­ble.

After in­ject­ing $ 85 mil­lion into the project dur­ing the Septem­ber quar­ter, the miner saw the com­ple­tion of its first ven­ti­la­tion raise­bore and com­menced de­vel­op­ment on the crusher level.

OZ Min­er­als chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Cole said flights to the site had be­gun and con­struc­tion of all 556 rooms at the Tjungu ac­com­mo­da­tion vil­lage were also com­pleted.

“The min­eral pro­cess­ing plant and non- pro­cess­ing in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion is con­tin­u­ing as per sched­ule, with first con­crete poured in late Au­gust,” Mr Cole said.

“Bulk earth­works and con­crete works in the pro­cess­ing area are near­ing com­ple­tion and en­gi­neer­ing is largely com­plete with ma­jor equip­ment de­liv­er­ies set to ramp up dur­ing Q4.”

For the re­main­der of the cal­en­dar year, works at the site would be fo­cussed on on­go­ing de­cline de­vel­op­ment, ad­di­tional ven­ti­la­tion raise­bores from sur­face, process plant con­struc­tion and bor­row pit works.

Mr Cole said con­struc­tion would com­mence at the tail­ings stor­age fa­cil­ity, north­ern well­field bore fit out, as well as im­prove­ments to the South­ern Ac­cess road.

Mr Cole said Car­ra­p­ateena ex­pan­sion stud­ies were also con­tin­u­ing with an ex­pected maiden re­source es­ti­mate for the Fre­man­tle Doc­tor prospect due in Q4 of cal­en­dar year.

“Di­a­mond drilling has also com­menced on the Punt Hill project, ap­prox­i­mately 50km south of Car­ra­p­ateena and an up­date on the ex­pan­sion desk­top stud­ies will be pro­vided in Q1 2019,” he said.

The in­stal­la­tion of its main com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work and high volt­age pow­er­line be­gan dur­ing the se­cond quar­ter of 2018, with com­ple­tion sched­uled for Q4 of cal­en­dar year

“In­stal­la­tion of the main com­mu­ni­ca­tions fi­bre op­tic cable net­work and high volt­age pow­er­line is pro­gress­ing well, with over 100 kilo­me­tres of cable in­stalled from the Woomera Tel­stra Ex­change to site,” Mr Cole said.

“The as­so­ci­ated Mount Gun­ston Elec­traNet Sub Sta­tion is near­ing com­ple­tion while earth­works and con­crete in­fra­struc­ture for the Elec­traNet Per­natty South sub­sta­tion is well- ad­vanced.”


In Oc­to­ber OZ Min­er­als met its $ 22 mil­lion spend­ing com­mit­ment to ac­quire a 51 per cent stake in Cassini Re­sources’ West Mus­grave project in WA.

A Pre Fea­si­bil­ity Study was cur­rently un­der­way for the project, which was sched­uled to be com­plete in the se­cond quar­ter of 2019.

OZ Min­er­als still has the op­tion to in­crease its stake fur­ther and earn up to 70 per cent by in­vest­ing an ad­di­tional $ 14 mil­lion to­wards Nebo- Ba­bel stud­ies and re­gional ex­plo­ration.

“The pace with which OZ Min­er­als have met the earn- in hur­dle is sig­nif­i­cant as it shows the part­ners de­sire to progress rapidly through the study stage and the po­ten­tial of the project,” Cassini Re­sources manag­ing direc­tor Richard Be­van said at the time.

Mr Cole said the com­pany’s con­fi­dence in the West Mus­grave project con­tin­ued to grow.

“Pos­i­tive progress has been made across re­source ge­ol­ogy and re­cent met­al­lur­gi­cal test work has pro­duced en­cour­ag­ing early re­sults with im­proved re­cov­er­ies for both cop­per and nickel,” Mr Cole said.

“Early met­al­lur­gi­cal test work on mas­ter com­pos­ites, which rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent time pe­ri­ods of the cur­rent mine plan, has shown a ma­te­rial im­prove­ment in cop­per and nickel re­cov­er­ies and an in­crease in cop­per con­cen­trate grade, while nickel re­cov­ery re­mains in line with the fur­ther scop­ing study.

“We will know more once re­sults from the test work are pro­vided fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of met­al­lur­gi­cal test work on vari­abil­ity sam­ples from dif­fer­ent ge­o­log­i­cal do­mains in Q1 2019.”

Mr Cole said the 2018 re­source drill pro­gram for West Mus­grave was near­ing com­ple­tion, and be­cause the com­pany had been en­cour­aged by the re­sults de­cided to push the 2019 drill work for­ward.

Mr Cole said the com­pany took a “prov­ince ap­proach” to its op­er­at­ing mines, con­struc­tion sites, and ex­plo­ration projects.

“What this means is, rather than sim­ply seek­ing to de­velop a sin­gle new mine, or sin­gle new op­por­tu­nity, we look for cop­per rich prov­inces where ini­tial or ex­ist­ing in­vest­ments can serve as a launch­ing plat­form or hub for other op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

“In the Mus­grave prov­ince, we have the West Mus­grave and East Mus­grave projects.”

The East Mus­grave prospect is about 500km east of the West Mus­grave project.

“In ad­di­tion to the work in West Mus­grave, we also have an earn- in agree­ment with Woomera Ex­plo­ration Lim­ited to ex­plore for mag­matic nickel and cop­per sul­phides in the East­ern Mus­grave prov­ince,” he said.

“We are cur­rently look­ing at in­no­va­tive ap­pli­ca­tion of the Vec­tor Resid­ual Mag­netic In­ten­sity ( VRMI) tech­nique, tra­di­tion­ally used in iron ore and gold ex­plo­ration, to re­solve prospec­tive anom­alies at East Mus­grave.

“This ex­plo­ration joint ven­ture tar­gets mag­matic nickel- cop­per sul­phide sys­tems like those of the Nebo Ba­bel de­posits in West Mus­grave.”


OZ Min­er­als has also been ac­tive in the M& A space gain­ing 100 per cent of Avanco Re­sources in a $ 418 mil­lion ac­qui­si­tion in Au­gust.

Mr Cole said the ac­qui­si­tion was con­sis­tent with the com­pany’s strat­egy to be­come a multi- as­set, cop­per core mod­ern min­ing com­pany.

“It also gave us the se­cond largest land po­si­tion in the highly prospec­tive, world- class Cara­jas cop­per prov­ince – and the largest land po­si­tion in the Gu­rupi green­stone gold belt in Brazil,” he said.

The pack­age in­cluded one op­er­at­ing as­set, two well pro­gressed de­vel­op­ment projects and nu­mer­ous high pri­or­ity brown­field and re­gional ex­plo­ration tar­gets.

“The ac­qui­si­tion al­lowed us to im­me­di­ately con­trib­ute cop­per tonnes to our pro­duc­tion pro­file and of­fered sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional new growth op­tions as well as a mean­ing­ful foot­print in the highly prospec­tive Cara­jás prov­ince,” he said.

“The ac­qui­si­tion pro­vides us with the po­ten­tial of see­ing seven mines up and op­er­at­ing within the next six years.”


Mr Cole said the com­pany had made sig­nif­i­cant progress on its growth strat­egy in 2018, and 2019 would fol­low in the same path.

With mul­ti­ple projects fast track­ing through the build and study phases, Mr Cole said OZ Min­er­als’ port­fo­lio was what a healthy min­ing com­pany should look like.

“We have put a few en­ablers in place to al­low us to work to­wards our vi­sion of be­com­ing a global cop­per- core mod­ern min­ing com­pany by 2023,” he said.

“One of these en­ablers is our de­volved model - which is more im­por­tant than ever now that we have oper­a­tions in Brazil, as it will em­power our busi­ness to make de­ci­sions to achieve out­comes that they are ac­count­able for de­liv­er­ing.”


Car­ra­p­ateena airstrip.

“We have put a few en­ablers in place to al­low us to work to­wards our vi­sion of be­com­ing a global cop­per-core mod­ern min­ing com­pany by 2023.”

“Op­por­tu­ni­ties that at­tract us are ones that are aligned to our strat­egy, meet in­ter­nal re­quire­ment and are value ac­cre­tive. Our tar­get­ing cri­te­ria is based on re­source qual­ity – qual­ity of re­source and bot­tom of cost curve.”

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