By Joel Scanlon
OZ Minerals is hoping to begin the construction of a mine at the Carrapateena copper and gold project by mid 2015. The company recently acquired the project located in South Australia for $250 million from Adelaide-based prospector Rudy Gomez and the Australian arm of Canadian mining giant Teck in the month of May.
Mr Rudy Gomez had begun exploring the region in 1989, he discovered the Carrapateena project in 2004 with financial assistance from the South Australian government. He was awarded the 2011 Association of Mining and Exploration Companies prospector of the year award for this achievement.
OZ Minerals said that the Carrapateena project was similar to the company’s flagship mine at Prominent Hill in South Australia. It was currently considering the options for developing the new project. This included studying the low cost but risky block carving method that involved digging a grid of tunnels under an ore body, which results in rock collapsing in a controlled manner. This rock is then collected and processed. Studies on the mining style will continue in to early 2013.
The company is currently cashed up and is actively seeking more copper and gold joint ventures in which it can invest. OZ Minerals hopes to make investments in low to medium risk countries to ensure good potential returns.