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Prominent Hill copper/gold/silver mine expansion study, Australia

5th February 2021

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Prominent Hill copper/gold/silver mine expansion study.

Gawler Craton, in South Australia.

Project Owner/s
OZ Minerals.

Project Description
An update on the Prominent Hill expansion study has shown that the installation of a 1 360 m, 7.5-m-diameter vertical shaft at Prominent Hill is technically and economically feasible, with capital investment consistent across the interim and strengthened cases.

Construction of the shaft is at this stage assumed to be a conventional blind sink.

A shaft will provide access to the deeper orebody beneath the current ore reserves boundary and provide exploration opportunities beyond the current mineral resource limits.

The update is based on a conservative interim case containing only a third of the total Prominent Hill inferred resource of 59-million tonnes outside the current life-of-mine plan.

The project has total mineral resources of 150-million tonnes grading 0.9% copper, 0.7 g/t gold and 2 g/t silver. Total proven and probable reserves are estimated at 56-million tonnes grading 0.9% copper, 0.7 g/t gold and 2 g/t silver.

Shaft hoisting is the key enabler that will facilitate increased mine production, from the current four- to five-million tonnes a year to about six-million tonnes a year. Underground ore material will become the sole processing plant feed from about 2025, when the surface stockpiles of remaining openpit material are expected to be fully depleted.

The Prominent Hill expansion will increase the mine’s current life from ten to 11 years.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
The study shows that a shaft haulage expansion will require a capital investment of about A$450-million over a four-year period from 2021.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
The accelerated decline development at the Prominent Hill project is progressing well and is on track to progress to the lowermost level at the end of first quarter of 2021, which will be followed by establishment of infrastructure to support the start of a bottom-up stoping sequence.

“Accelerating the decline development to the bottom of the known resource will enable us to mine simultaneously from the current and deeper levels and facilitate access for the potential shaft haulage system,” OZ MD Andrew Cole has said.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
AECOM Australia, AGC Consulting, AMC Consultants, Ausenco, BBE Consulting, Beck Engineering Australasia, Boart Longyear, Byrnecut, Coffey, Convergen, D Why, EMM, Emtek, Golders, John Thompson Inclusive, Keaveney Consulting, Land and Water Consulting, Loesche, MCA, Mine Fill Services, Minset, More Space for Light, Newcrest Telfer Operations, Newmont Tanami Operations, Noble Environs, Pete Holliday, Redpath, Pells Sullivan Meynink, RUC, SAGE Automation, SRK Consulting, Stantec International Consulting, Strategy Focused Innovation, Woodgrove and Xylem Water Solutions (expansion study); and Hatch, IA Engineering, Optiro, SimSAGe, Stantec International Consulting, Strategy Focused Innovation and SRK International (peer review).

Contact Details for Project Information
OZ Minerals, tel +61 8 8229 6600 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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