$600m Prominent Hill mine expansion in SA approved for development

Monica Gameng   |   August 22, 2021
Prominent Hill mine (cr: OZ Minerals)

OZ Minerals has announced that it will be pushing ahead with the expansion of the Prominent Hill copper and gold mine in South Australia with a $600 million funding commitment. 

The State Government welcomes this development that will help drive South Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19. 

“Our Growth State plan backs copper mining as one of the largest drivers of economic growth and prosperity for South Australians. 

“This expansion will extend the mine’s life to 2036 from 2032, and increase copper production by 23% on current levels. 

“The expansion will also lower operating costs and reduce carbon emissions generated in copper and gold production by a quarter, with a new shaft reducing the emissions from trucking,” Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said. 

The expansion will include the construction of a hoisting shaft that will enable access to Mineral Resource outside the existing trucking mine plan at Prominent Hill that is considered “uneconomical via a trucking operation from 2033”. 

Works to sink the new Wira shaft is anticipated to commence in the first quarter of 2022 and completed by 2024. 

Operation at the new shaft is expected to begin in 2025, about the same time as stockpiled ore from the original open pit is completely depleted. 

“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. 

“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. 

“Today is another important milestone for OZ Minerals as we cement Prominent Hill’s role as a long-life, low-cost asset in the OZ Minerals portfolio making a valuable contribution to our purpose, going beyond what’s possible to make lives better,” OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cole said. 

 

The Prominent Hill mine expansion will provide longevity for the approximately 1,200 strong workforce as well as increase royalties that will help fund roads, schools and hospitals in the state. 

This project is also anticipated to open opportunities for local suppliers during the construction phase and ongoing operations of the mine. 

“During the COVID-19 disruptions, we’ve worked hard to make sure the resources sector can contribute to keeping South Australia safe and strong. 

“Copper is critical for the global economy to produce the goods needed to achieve net zero emission globally – such as electric vehicles, batteries, and power lines. 

“Due to the Marshall Government’s energy solution delivering cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable power, South Australian copper is now becoming a more sustainable and competitive product,” Minister van Holst Pellekaan said. 

The Department of Energy and Mining and OZ Minerals have been working together to secure regulatory requirements that will authorise new activities at the mine. 

Prominent Hill is located about 650 kilometres north-northwest of Adelaide and it comprises of underground mines Ankata and Malu as well as a conventional crushing, grinding and flotation processing plant, and the future Wira shaft. 

Source: Premier of South Australia – Media Releases; OZ Minerals (1, 2); IN Daily - Adelaide Independent News

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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