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Wrong parts order blamed for delaying $1B metal project by weeks

Carrapateena Copper Gold Mine tunnel
Carrapateena Copper Gold Mine tunnel

A modern mining company is not impressed after the wrong parts were delivered for its $1 billion precious metal operation in South Australia’s Lake Torrens region.

OZ Minerals blames its suppliers for not providing the correct parts needed for its Minerals Processing Plant at the Carrapateena Copper Gold Mine in Woomera, 169km north of Port Augusta. The right parts have been ordered but it will force first saleable concentrate production to begin a month later in December.

“Postponement of first concentrate production by a matter of weeks was disappointing considering the remainder of the project construction was either complete or nearing completion,” the proponent said in a statement to the share market. “The revised timing is due to incorrect vendor supplied items associated with the Minerals Processing Plant, which were identified through commissioning checks.”

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Tonnes stockpiled

The company has stockpiled more than 200,000 tonnes of ore while it waits for the parts to make the long journey to the mine. The project will still be ready to ramp up production in the New Year thanks to the “advanced state of the underground development”.

However, the delay has also forced OZ Minerals to withdraw and revise its production guidance for the year down from the original 2000 to 4000 tonnes of copper and 3000 to 6000 ounces of gold. The new amounts will be announced early in the New Year.

OZ Minerals shares fell 0.6 per cent to $10.93 a unit after making the announcement according to the Australian Associated Press.

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