Final investment decision expected H2 2022 pending progress on value uplift options and local operating and construction environment


West Musgrave positioning as long-life, low-cost sustainable producer. (Credit: Chris Wiedenhoff from Pixabay.)

OZ Minerals’ West Musgrave copper nickel project in Western Australia is continuing to take shape with further value uplift opportunities now being considered to leverage the global focus on acceleration towards a low carbon economy.

In providing an update on progress of the project OZ Minerals Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole, said:

“We continue to be excited by how West Musgrave could make a significant contribution to sustainable mining as a low-emissions open cut mine, producing minerals essential to a low carbon economy.

Value creating opportunities being considered
“We position ourselves as a modern mining company and opportunities to produce a green product with maximum transparency in a sustainable way need to be further explored. While the Pre-Feasibility Study Update (PFSU) in December 2020 described a robust project, we are taking the opportunity, as the study progresses, to consider opportunities to further advance our company aspirations in these areas.

“Further value opportunities being considered include:

Increasing production above the current 12Mtpa while contemplating a third vertical roller mill that could enable further energy management and emission reductions

Further accelerating towards our aspirations of a zero emissions mine and mining fleet

Renewable energy power plant construction and operation ownership options

Enabling future ways of work with additional automation, remote operations and work from home flexibility

Examining the construction of a downstream nickel processing plant on site, and seeking interest from third parties in its potential development

Final Study Progress Update

“We are pleased with the progress made on the final study phase with many aspects of the project well advanced and technically de-risked. Overall, we continue to gain confidence in the project.

“Steady progress has been made on the government approvals with all key environmental approvals documents for the Part IV approval submitted to the WA Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA visited the site for several days in early September meeting with Traditional Owners and OZ Minerals people to increase shared understanding of aspirations, requirements and expectations.

“COVID related travel restrictions and precautions have delayed progress on development of the land access agreement with the Traditional Owners. The Traditional Owners have expressed support for the project and our priority is to ensure they are fully informed, remain safe, and have a clear understanding of the impacts and opportunities the proposed mine will create; a process that we will not rush.

“Engineering design of the Mineral Processing Plant, Hybrid Renewable Power Plant, Village, Aerodrome, and Non-Processing Infrastructure continue to de-risk the project from a technical perspective. A site-wide geotechnical program is concluding with lab testing underway.

“An additional 47.5km of infill drilling has been completed, primarily targeting the payback period. Pleasingly, results have been in line with expectations, increasing our confidence in Nebo Babel orebody knowledge.

“Drilling also commenced this month at the Succoth copper deposit. Succoth has a published Inferred Mineral Resource totalling 156Mt @ 0.60% Cu1, which was not factored into the West Musgrave PFSU and can potentially add upside in mine life or production rate to the West Musgrave Province.

“As we progress the final study phase, impacts on materials and labour availability in Western Australia, have the potential to put pressure on capital costs. We will take these impacts into consideration as we develop the project schedule and budget next year in preparation for a potential final investment decision in H2 2022.”

Source: Company Press Release