West Musgrave base metals project, Australia – update

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19th August 2022

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
West Musgrave base metals project.

West Musgrave Ranges of Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
Copper/gold miner OZ Minerals.

Project Description
The West Musgrave includes the Nebo-Babel nickel/copper and Succoth copper deposits.

OZ Minerals is hoping to establish the West Musgrave project as a scaleable, low-cost, long-life, openpit mining operation.

An updated prefeasibility study (PFS) has increased the project’s mineral ore reserves from 220-million tonnes grading 0.36% copper and 0.33% nickel, to 253-million tonnes grading 0.35% copper and 0.32% nickel.

Mineral resources have increased – from 340-million tonnes grading 0.36% copper and 0.33% nickel in the February 2020 PFS to 390-million tonnes grading 0.34% copper and 0.31% nickel in the updated PFS.

The updated PFS envisages a 12-million-tonne-a-year crushing, vertical roller mill, flotation operation producing separate copper and nickel concentrates. The average nickel production from the project has increased from 22 000 t/y in the February 2020 PFS to 26 000 t/y in the updated PFS. Average copper production has increased from 28 000 t/y to 32 000 t/y.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The updated PFS has increased the project’s after-tax net present value from A$800-million to A$1-billion, and the internal rate of return from 20% to 25%, with a payback of about six years from the decision to mine.

Capital Expenditure
Preproduction capital has increased from A$995-million in the February 2020 PFS to about A$1.1-billion in the February 2021 updated PFS.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
The Western Australian government has granted copper miner OZ Minerals the third and final regulatory approval for its West Musgrave project.

Discussions are well advanced with the Ngaanyatjarra Council on finalising the mining agreement with significant progress made over the past several months.

The project is on track for a final investment decision during this final half of the year.

In addition to completion of the mining agreement with representatives of the traditional owners, the team is finalising various study components and continuing to assess the impact of cost inflation and the operational environment on project cost and schedule.

West Musgrave is nearing completion of the study phase.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Not stated.

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

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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