The OZ Minerals Board has approved the construction of a hoisting shaft at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine, which will extend the mine life to 2036 at 6 million tpy.
The shaft mine expansion also enables generational province potential with further mine life extensions possible, as 67 million t of resource remains outside the shaft expansion mine plan.
Further, an exploration program has also identified that mineralisation remains open at depth beyond the current Mineral Resource boundary, potentially accessible via the shaft. The latest exploration update released by OZ Minerals also provides further clarity on satellite orebodies closer to the surface that could potentially be mined simultaneously. The exploration potential is not contemplated in the shaft business case.
The AUS$600 million Wira shaft investment will increase annual copper production rates by approximately 23% at a 20% lower operating cost over the current trucking life of mine estimates.
Work on sinking the Wira shaft is expected to commence in 1Q22 and is scheduled for completion in 2024. The hoisting shaft provides access to Mineral Resource outside the current trucking mine plan that would have been uneconomical via a trucking operation from approximately 2033.
Announcing the expansion, OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole said:
“We are thrilled to see a long and productive future for Prominent Hill with the Wira shaft mine expansion enabling access to areas previously thought uneconomic and opening up potential new prospects.
“Prominent Hill is a quality orebody and remains open at depth. The reliable performance of the operation and its consistent Resource to Reserve conversion rate were all influential in the decision.
“The shaft expansion creates an exciting new future for Prominent Hill with extended mine life and production rates enabling investment in lower emissions and other OZ Minerals environmental and workforce aspirations.
“For the first time we have used a carbon price in determining the project valuation, a practice we will adopt in other OZ Minerals projects going forward.”
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/24082021/oz-minerals-approves-prominent-hill-wira-shaft-mine-expansion/