Harmony Gold Mining has secured the prescribed project status for its Eva copper mine project from the Queensland government in Australia.

The status was awarded based on the social and economic significance the project would have to the north-west region of Queensland.

Announced by the Queensland Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, the special status for the Australian copper mine will facilitate the coordination of approval processes needed for the project.

Located near Mt Isa and Cloncurry, the Eva copper mine will introduce a new stream of copper mining and smelting. This is expected to bolster local supply for solar, wind, and battery energy manufacturing.

The copper mine is estimated to operate for at least 15 years.

Besides, the Eva copper project will generate up to 1,250 jobs in construction and operations as well as prolong the life of local copper mining and smelting jobs.

Queensland Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace said: “The Eva Copper Mine Project plans to provide a new source of copper concentrate that has the potential to feed Mount Isa’s copper smelter.

“Harmony Gold Mining Company already has key mining approvals for the project and my prescribed project declaration means the Office of the Coordinator-General can now provide additional assistance to coordinate remaining approvals.

“Priorities will include establishing a renewable energy source that can help run mining operations until the project connects to CopperString 2032.”

Harmony Gold Mining acquired full ownership of the project and 16 exploration tenements in December 2022.

Currently, the company is updating a feasibility study to support the proposed development of the Australian copper project.

According to the mining company, the Eva copper project has the capacity to be a long-life conventional open pit mine with copper concentrator producing a highly saleable copper concentrate.

Harmony Gold Mining CEO Peter Steenkamp said: “We appreciate the support of the Queensland Government and all stakeholders who supported our application for ‘Prescribed Project’ status.”