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Oz Minerals' West Musgrave plans progress

14th November 2022

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – Copper miner Oz Minerals on Monday announced that a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) project study at the West Musgrave project, in Western Australia, confirmed the technical and commercial opportunity of producing a high quality and high grade MHP product, and the potential for significant value uplift at the West Musgrave project.

The MHP study considered further processing nickel concentrate from the West Musgrave copper/nickel project into a high-grade nickel product via a pressure oxidation (POX) and precipitation process.

“We are encouraged by the outcome of the MHP study as we continue to look at opportunities to further enhance value in the West Musgrave Province,” said Oz Minerals CEO Andrew Cole.

“An important technical milestone was achieved during the study, with a successful pilot plant confirming the flowsheet and producing a MHP product that is high in nickel content with very low impurities, making West Musgrave MHP a high-quality product when benchmarked against other MHP products in the market today.

“There has been strong interest from potential customers in the MHP product and we have become increasingly confident that MHP will be one of the preferred feedstocks for battery manufacturers as the world looks to step up its decarbonisation journey in coming years.

“We expect an MHP product from West Musgrave to generate strong demand given its favourable sustainability credentials, with customers placing value on supply from a project that is located in a quality jurisdiction, produced from a project with a low carbon footprint and with the ability to transparently trace nickel from mine site right through the supply chain to final product and end-consumer,” added Cole.

“The work done to date is to a level that allows us to commence a feasibility study when ready. A decision on project next steps will be considered in parallel with the current strategic partnership process for the West Musgrave project. Strong interest has been received with high quality responses received to date to enhance the value of the project. The process is also generating further value accretive opportunities for Oz Minerals outside of the West Musgrave project which we are currently exploring.”

The MHP process plant would be constructed after the mine begins production. The West Musgrave project commenced construction this month following final investment approval in September 2022.

The A$1.7-billion West Musgrave copper/nickel project is expected to have a mine life of 24 years currently, producing an average of 35 000 t/y of nickel and 41 000 t/y of copper in the first five years of operations, and 27 000 t/y of nickel and 33 000 t/y of copper in the remaining mine life.

Operating costs for the project are estimated at A$34/t of ore.

The project’s post tax net present value has been estimated at between A$1.5-billion and A$2.2-billion, and its internal rate of return at between 15% and 19%, while the project pay-back is estimated at 6.5 to 7.5 years.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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