Mining company OZ Minerals has obtained final approval from the state and federal governments for its A$916m Carrapateena copper gold project, located nearly 160km north of Port Augusta in South Australia.
The approval is expected to pave the way for phase two construction on the copper gold project, which is slated to begin from mid-April.
The Mining Lease and Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) approvals represent the completion of the primary requirements necessary for the development, and follow the signing of a Native Title Mining Agreement between OZ Minerals and Kokatha Aboriginal in September 2017.
OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said: “Receiving the Mining Lease and EPBC approval is the product of significant effort on the part of the state government, working closely with the Federal Department, to ensure this project received a robust and thorough review.
“We have also had our detailed operational plan (Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation) approved by the South Australian Government, representing the conclusion of a significant amount of work on behalf of government departments.”
Phase one of the project is currently underway and is expected to see the construction of a 550-bed accommodation village and airstrip, as well as the continued development of the dual-access underground decline.
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The company is slated to focus on building above-ground infrastructure during the second phase, including the processing plant, tailings storage facility and underground materials handling system.
It will also cover the construction of access roads and power lines.
OZ Minerals stated that the Carrapateena project is expected to generate approximately 1,000 jobs.
The estimated commissioning date of the mine is the fourth quarter of 2019.
The average life of the mine is anticipated to be 20 years and it is expected to produce 65,000t of copper and 67,000oz of gold per year.