Refurbishment & Restart Project (RRP)


Following completion of the Restart Execution Studies (RES) in 2016, which identified a viable business case to recommence operations at Capricorn Copper Mine (CCM), the Refurbishment and Restart Project (RRP) commenced in 2017.
The RRP consisted of the capital projects and operational readiness programs required to restart operations at CCM, including a combination of overhauling existing facilities, replacing outdated technology, expanding production capacity, constructing new equipment/facilities and modifying equipment to achieve the desired operating efficiencies. 
The RRP programs, which have been successfully completed on time and budget, ensure CCM can operate in a safe, economic and environmentally sustainable manner.

A principal 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. 
Mining rehabilitation for the existing underground infrastructure was completed by the fourth quarter of 2017 and production was commenced in two previously unmined ore bodies, the Esperanza South sub level cave and Greenstone using the Avoca mining method. Throughout 2017, mining operations were successfully ramped-up to meet the required feed rates for the refurbished mill for designed production levels.
The process plant refurbishment and upgrade commenced in March 2017 with a number of milestones being achieved as planned:
• The plant was energised during October 2017
• Crushing operations commenced in mid-October 2017
• First ore was milled in mid-November 2017
• First copper concentrate was produced on November 17, 2017
• The first 10,000 dmt of high quality copper concentrate was produced on January 28, 2018 and is scheduled to be shipped out of the Port of Townsville on February 18, 2018
• Ramp-up to steady state production is on track for Q1 2018
Two further milestones will be achieved in early 2018 as planned:
• The replacement of the existing tertiary milling circuit with modern grinding technology (Outotec HIG Mill)
• The new paste-fill system that is fed by a purpose-built surface paste-fill plant