Refurbishment & Restart Project (RRP)

The recently completed Restart Execution Studies (RES) have identified a viable business case to recommence operations at Capricorn Copper Mine (CCM) in 2017. A product of the RES has been the planning and implementation of the Restart and Refurbishment Project (RRP) consisting of the capital projects and operational readiness programs required to sustainably restart operations at CCM.

The refurbishment and minor upgrades being implemented under the RRP will ensure CCM can achieve the operational strategy and production capacities outlined in the RES. As an existing operation, the transition from care and maintenance to steady-state production carries a lower project execution risk and lower capital intensity than a greenfield development project.

A Principle Mining Contractor was engaged in December 2016, and mobilised to site in February 2017, to carry out all physical mining activities including the underground mine rehabilitation, pre-production development and production activities under the management of CCM’s owners’ team.

The process plant was fully operational until being placed on care and maintenance in April 2013. The plant requires a general refurbishment and a limited number of upgrades to achieve the desired production performance. The process plant will be operated by the owners’ team along with the process plant operational readiness and commissioning.

The RRP project scope is a combination of maintenance to existing facilities, replacing outdated technology, expanding existing production system capacity, construction of new equipment/facilities and modifying equipment to achieve the desired operating efficiencies. The mine and process plant can commence production in parallel with the construction and commissioning of new process equipment, thereby reducing the project risk profile significantly. Additionally, the project does not include any novel technology, is geographically located close to significant infrastructure (Mt Isa) and has ready access to personnel with the requisite skills to construct and refurbish the facilities.

The concentrator will be refurbished during 2017 with a commissioning restart scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2017. First ore production is expected in October 2017, with a four month ramp up schedule to steady-state production.