PORT Augusta has been identified as OZ Minerals’ preferred destination for a Concentrate Treatment Plant (CTP), despite earlier indications that Whyalla would be selected for the project.
OZ Minerals announced on Friday April 21 that Port Augusta was the preferred host for the plant that will service both the Carrapateena and Prominent Hill mines.
OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said the construction of the CTP would generate employment for the whole region.
“By building the CTP in the Upper Spencer Gulf we will generate direct employment, through both the construction and operation phases for the whole region including Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Augusta,” Mr Cole said.
Before leaning towards Port Augusta as the preferred host, OZ Minerals signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Arrium’s administrators to explore site, infrastructure and port options at Whyalla for the CTP back in May 2016.
A spokesperson for the company said Whyalla has not been formally ruled out as a potential destination.
“The Upper Spencer Gulf has a number of suitable sites for a plant like this and it’s about evaluating a range of factors that best suit the wider project," they said.
OZ Minerals is looking to begin involving major contractors for the proposed $975 million Carrapateena copper mine, about 160 kilometres north of Port Augusta.
If approved, the construction and operational phases of the Carrapateena mine is expected to deliver over 1000 jobs. Successful bidders will be required to deliver participation from local businesses and traditional owners.
The company is planning to host a series of regional meetings in May, helping businesses and communities “better understand the potential for involvement”.
The meetings will also update the community on new developments on the project, including the preferred site for the project in Port Augusta.
“For regional communities an important message is that we are engaging major contractors early and we will be stipulating that they must ensure local business participation,” Mr Cole said.