Australia-based modern mining company OZ Minerals has agreed to acquire base metals explorer, Cassini Resources under a scheme arrangement.

Through the transaction, OZ Minerals is expected to take complete ownership of the West Musgrave nickel-copper project and surrounding tenements including One Tree Hill and Succoth.

The West Musgrave Project is an open-pit copper and nickel sulphide mine that comprises Nebo-Babel nickel-copper sulphide and Succoth copper deposits.

According to a pre-feasibility study (PFS) released in February 2020, West Musgrave is expected to be a low cost, long life, open pit project with a low carbon footprint.

The study showed 28,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of copper and 22,000tpa of nickel production over an estimated mine life of 26 years, with an estimated capital expenditure of £510m (A$995m).

OZ Minerals chief executive Andrew Cole said: “We appreciate the quality project Cassini introduced to OZ Minerals and we have valued their input in the project throughout the Further Scoping Study and Pre-Feasibility Study.

“This acquisition gives OZ Minerals 100% ownership of the project allowing flexibility regarding future funding and development options.

“This is a promising project with strong sustainability credentials both in terms of the copper and nickel to be mined being critical inputs for the renewable economy and also in relation to its low carbon footprint with some 80% of power generated through renewable sources including solar and wind.”

OZ Minerals to gain maximum optionality regarding development of West Musgrave

The transaction enables OZ Minerals to gain maximum optionality regarding development of the project, which is located in western Australia near the borders of South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Cassini will also undertake an inter-conditional demerger of its Yarawindah Brook and Mount Squires assets into a new company, Caspin Resources.

In June last year, OZ Minerals unveiled plans to commence construction on a hybrid energy generation power plant at the Carrapateena copper-gold mine site near Port Augusta.