Carrapateena delivers solid quarter despite Covid-19 restrictions

QUARTERLY REPORT: Carrapateena Village. Photo: Oz Minerals.
QUARTERLY REPORT: Carrapateena Village. Photo: Oz Minerals.

The ramp-up at Oz Minerals' Carrapateena mine has continued to exceed expectations this quarter with increases to both copper and gold production.

Located 160 kilometres north of Port Augusta, Carrapateena is South Australia's second biggest copper mine.

Oz Minerals Managing Director and CEO Andrew Cole said despite Covid-19 health-related restrictions across all operations, the team has delivered a solid production quarter.

"The ongoing focus to protect the health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders through the COVID-19 pandemic has pleasingly resulted in no cases identified at Prominent Hill or Carrapateena to this point," he said.

"The number of people from our Brazil team who are currently positive for COVID-19 is in single digits and they are recovering at home.

"We will continue to enforce travel restrictions, testing, quarantine, and trace and isolate regimes to ensure the health and well-being of our people and keep our sites operating."

The mining giants' copper production at Carrapateena jumped from 2,495 tonnes in the first quarter of this year to 7,170 tonnes in the June quarter as production ramped up.

Gold production guidance was also lifted by around 10 per cent from 207,000-234,000 ounces to 227,000-249,000 ounces on the back of a solid performance at both Carrapateena and Prominent Hill.

"This strong performance has provided the confidence to release ~$45 million of the ~$150 million deferred expenditure announced in March that will benefit production beyond 2020," Mr Cole said.

"We will maintain full flexibility to again restrict this spend should it be required in this dynamic operating environment and will continue to assess future cash requirements against this backdrop."

The company continue to explore a potential "block cave" approach, with the pre-feasability study demonstrating significant value uplift and long-life mining province.

Stage one of the block cave expansion feasibility study is currently underway, with completion expected late next year.