Friday, 17 August 2012 13:57
The Ankata underground mine at Prominent Hill is ready for business, after South Australian premier Jay Weatherill officially opened the $148 million OZ Minerals operation.
The mine was constructed to target a high grade deposit located west of the existing open pit mine at the Prominent Hill copper gold operation, 650km north-west of Adelaide.
The Ankata opening comes after OZ Minerals CEO Terry Burgess reportedly welcomed a delay for the $30 billion Olympic Dam expansion, due to sharp increases in operating costs.
The South Australian miner is being buffeted by high operating and labour costs, and the prospect of BHP building one of the largest mines in the world in the same state would make workers and equipment even more scarce, Mr Burgess said.
Mr Weatherill said the new mine will add a further 220 jobs to its 1200 strong workforce, praising OZ Minerals for keeping employment opportunities “locally-focused.”
“OZ Minerals shows how the resource and energy industries in the 21st Century can lead the way in showing how to share the benefits of resources development with South Australian communities,” he said.
Mr Burgess said the commencement of the Ankata underground mine is a significant milestone for OZ Minerals and is a highly valuable addition to Prominent Hill.
“Major projects like these require a lot of dedication and effort from multiple parties to get them up and running,” he said.
Pic: Operations at Oz Minerals' Prominent Hill site in South Australia.
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