Oxiana gold mine on track for 2008 start

Oxiana gold mine on track for 2008 start

Mid-tier miner Oxiana Ltd says its Prominent Hill project is on track to become Australia’s next major copper/gold mine.

Oxiana said the mine was expected to launch commercial production in 2008, ramping up to mine ore at a rate of eight million tonnes a year and produce 100,000 tonnes of copper and 120,000 ounces of gold a year.

Final approvals for the mine are expected in August and the company’s board has approved $33 million for early capital works to be completed before then.

A bankable feasibility study into the project is on track for completion at the end of July and resource modelling and estimation are now complete and undergoing a final audit.

Oxiana said that, using a 0.3 per cent copper cut off, the total measured, indicated and inferred resource at the mine stood at 1.54 million tonnes of copper and 1.87 million ounces of gold.

There was also potential for the resource to be increased as the deposit remained open to the west, and drilling to test the full extent of the resource was now set to commence, the company said.

Development and construction of the mine is expected to take about 22 months with wet plant commissioning in mid 2008 and the first commercial production in the second half of 2008.

The diversified miner, which has operations in Australia and Laos, has now also been given federal government approval for access and mining in the Woomera restricted area.

Oxiana also announced Wednesday that it had begun the first stage of the extensive drilling program at its joint venture gold exploration project at Woolgar in north Queensland.

Shares in the miner closed up 14 cents at $3.48 on Wednesday.

© 2006 AAP

Share this post