Upper Spencer Gulf mayors pay a visit to Carrapateena

LEADERS: Whyalla's Clare McLaughlin, left, Port Augusta's Brett Benbow and Port Pirie's Leon Stephens went on a mayoral trip to the outback to visit the Oz Minerals Carrapateena site.
LEADERS: Whyalla's Clare McLaughlin, left, Port Augusta's Brett Benbow and Port Pirie's Leon Stephens went on a mayoral trip to the outback to visit the Oz Minerals Carrapateena site.

Upper Spencer Gulf Mayors and Council CEO's took a tour of South Australia's second largest copper mine, located about 160-kilometres north of Port Augusta.

Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow and Port Augusta City Council chief executive officer John Banks visited the Oz Minerals Carrapateena project with their Whyalla and Port Pirie counterparts earlier this month.

Port Pirie Mayor and Chair of Spencer Gulf Cities Leon Stephens said the visit really put the scale of the project into perspective.

Carrapateena has been forecast to average annual production of 65,000t of copper and 67,000oz of gold over a 20-year mine life.

Infrastructure on site will include an accommodation village, airstrip, processing plant and tailings storage facility.

"We were just blown away by the extent of the operation. The facilities are amazing," Mr Stephens said.

The strong focus on local procurement and workforce was a key feature for the Mayors.

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said she was very pleased to see Oz Minerals prioritising local employment and local procurement.

The project is expected to generate around 1000 jobs from construction through to production.

"With the jobs growth opportunities expected from construction through to production on the Carrapateena project over coming years, it will provide a tremendous boost for our three Upper Spencer Gulf cities and for the state", Ms McLaughlin said.

The Mayors also commended the company's approach to community engagement and maximising local benefit from the project.

"Right from the start, Oz Minerals have been very genuine in their engagement with our communities and demonstrated a strong desire to do the right thing by us. We really appreciate that," Mr Benbow added.

Mr Stephens agreed and said Oz Minerals were a great role model for other developers.

"Having a social licence is more than just ticking a box," he said.

"Oz has consistently demonstrated they are serious about working with us, so that we all win."