Site Location & History


Capricorn Copper Mine (CCM) is located in a range of hills approximately 125km by road northwest of Mt Isa in North West Queensland, in the Shire of Mt Isa. CCM is in the headwaters of Gunpowder Creek, a major tributary of the river system flowing north to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The mine is accessed by road from Mt Isa.

The region has a semi-arid climate, with a short wet season between November and April that is influenced by the northwest monsoon. The surrounding country is hilly, with rocky ridges and sparse vegetation. The local creeks are ephemeral, running only in the wet season.

Mt Isa is connected to the Port of Townsville via the Great Northern Railway and via sealed highways. The Mt Isa mining area itself is serviced by a well-established transport infrastructure route that services the region’s mining and tourism sectors.

The mine has a rich history with more than 520kt of contained copper extracted to date.

  • 1882 - Mineralisation first discovered
  • 1923 to 1960 - Discovery of the Mammoth (MAM) Deposit and first mining leases pegged including Esperanza lease in 1960
  • 1969 - Survey and Mining Ltd purchase lease. Large scale mining commences with completion of Lake Waggaboonya
  • 1970 - Underground mine at MAM developed and concentrator commissioned
  • 1971 - Consolidated Goldfields Ltd and Mitsubishi Ltd establish Gunpowder Copper Ltd
  • 1978 - Renison Goldfields Consolidated Ltd introduces heap leaching and in-situ leaching of Mammoth ore to produce cathode copper via SX/EW
  • 1989 - Adelaide Brighton Cement Holdings Limited purchases the mine and develops an in-situ leach program producing around 6ktpa copper in concentrate and established significant extensions to the known resource at depth in Mammoth
  • 1996 - Aberfoyle Resources acquire mine. 0.7 Mtpa hydrometallurgical plant constructed with design capacity of 46 ktpa copper cathode
  • 1998 - Western Metals Limited acquire Aberfoyle
  • 1999 - Autoclave leach plant and 45,000tpa SX/EW plant commissioned
  • 2003 - Aditya Birla Minerals Limited purchases mine and later decommissions the SX/EW circuits to convert the process flow to a conventional sulphide flotation plant
  • 2015  - Capricorn Copper Holdings acquires Capricorn Copper Pty Ltd from Aditya Birla in an incorporated joint venture owned by EMR Capital and Lighthouse Minerals
  • 2016 - Restart Execution Studies completed outlining the optimal operational strategy for the mine under Capricorn Copper’s management