Carrapateena is an iron-oxide copper-gold deposit located in South Australia on the eastern margin of the Gawler Craton. The opportunity is one of the country's largest undeveloped copper deposits and is located relatively close to key infrastructure. It is situated in one of the world's best and safest mining jurisdictions.
Located in South Australia’s highly prospective Gawler Craton, Carrapateena is approximately 160 km north of Port Augusta. The Project was purchased by OZ Minerals in 2011 and a subsequent drilling program significantly increased the resource base.
Carrapateena is a copper-gold deposit hosted in a brecciated granite complex and is mostly chalcopyrite with a central high grade bornite zone.
The deposit is shaped like a near vertical pipe and sits under approximately 500 metres of unmineralised rock cover.
OZ Minerals' ongoing work has demonstrated the robust nature of the project, with excellent financial metrics, a low risk profile and upside for potential future expansion. Recent work has indicated that the ore body is best exploited by a mining method known as sub level caving, with potential for a 20+ year mine life.
Carrapateena is currently in Feasibility stage results expected in Q1 2017. Please refer to the ASX releases section of our website for market releases regarding the Carrapateena Project.
Construction of the Carrapateena decline has begun with Australian company, PYBAR Mining Services,awarded the contract to build the 600m deep, 7500m long decline with associated underground infrastructure and surface ventilation. The decision to go ahead with the construction of the decline was made to de-risk the project and create shareholder value.
On Thurday 03 November the Tjati Decline was officially opened by the Hon. Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia. At the opening, a Partnering Agreement between OZ Minerals and the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation was signed. The agreement is an incredibly important document acknowledging that today, tomorrow and in the years ahead, this project will be a partnership with the Kokatha People.
Above, from left to right: Andrew Cole, Managing Director and CEO, OZ Minerals; Chris Larkin, Chairman, Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation and; Hon. Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia at the opening of the Tjati Decline, Carrapateena
Above, from left to right: Andrew Cole, Managing Director and CEO, OZ Minerals and Chris Larkin, Chairman, Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation signing of the Partnering Agreement at the opening of the Tjati Decline, Carrapateena
Above, OZ Minerals leadership team with Chris Larkin, Chairman, Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation and Hon. Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia at the opening of the Tjati Decline, Carrapateena
It is proposed the copper deposit will be mined using a process called sub-level caving. Using this method, the deposit is blasted in 25 metre slices and then collected by loaders. From there it is crushed and loaded onto a conveyer belt that transports the ore up the decline and to the surface.
The ore will be processed onsite to produce a copper concentrate containing copper and gold minerals. The concentrate will then be transported off site for further processing through a Concentrate Treatment Plant.
Timelines and Approvals
The OZ Minerals team will further progress studies to allow the OZ Minerals Board to make a final decision on Carrapateena in the first half of 2017.
The feasibility study which is currently being undertaken is progressing to more in depth designs and cost estimates for mining, processing plant, non-process infrastructure, power supply, water sources and tailings storage. A particular focus at this stage of the project is the use of technology and mitigating residual risks on the project.
Our ongoing relationship and engagement with the traditional owners, local communities and pastoralists is incredibly important to us and we are focused on creating partnerships based on mutual respect, understanding and trust.
Through local procurement and local employment policies, OZ Minerals is focused on opportunities for South Australians with particular attention on the Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback Communities.
Over 1000 jobs will be created during construction and operation of this project.
Concentrate Treatment Plant
A Concentrate Treatment Plant (CTP) is being proposed in alignment with the Carrapateena project. The CTP is an innovative solution to managing impurities present in copper concentrate. The plant combines new chemistry with existing technology that processes copper concentrate and removes impurities such as uranium and fluorine. Copper concentrate is composed of copper minerals (70%); iron and silicia minerals (29.98%) and; minerals containing impurities (0.02%). The system works by leaching out the iron and impurities leaving a concentrate that contains a much higher percentage of copper.
By removing the iron, the weight of the concentrate is decreased providing savings on transport costs and as regulators respond to community concerns regarding the environment this concentrate can be sold to countries with strict importing laws.
The process outlined below is also required to explain to the government and communities how we will appropriately develop, operate and rehabilitate the site.
Environment and social studies are being undertaken in preparation for the submission of the Mining Lease Proposal. Discussions have commenced with the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation around project configuration. OZ Minerals has also started and will continue to undertake community consultation to ensure the community are fully aware of the impacts and benefits that will flow from the project.