An OZ Minerals drilling program on the eastern end of its Prominent Hill orebodies in South Australia has returned strong results, including a 68.5-m intercept grading 3.2% copper and 0.5 g/mt gold located 40 m east of previous domain interpretation and outside of the existing classified mineral resource. OZ Minerals is spending $4 million in 2016 on a diamond drill program to increase the confidence level of the mineralization by infill drilling to a vertical depth of 700 m below surface, testing its potential for future conversion to ore reserves.
The mineralization is open down dip and has clear potential for grades comparable to and above those in currently defined Prominent Hill mineral resources. Drillhole data from recent drilling will be incorporated into a 2016 mineral resources update.
A more comprehensive delineation drilling program is planned for the fourth quarter of 2016, once mine develop-
ment has progressed to a point where
further drilling will be both better positioned and more cost effective. Drilling programs will continue throughout 2016 and into 2017.
OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said, “Drilling results to date are very encouraging, and a 68-m drill intercept at over 3% copper is a world-class result.
“Although this is a first step, it is an important and encouraging first step. These intersections demonstrate the quality of the deposit, and with a second decline currently being constructed, we expect to boost the production capacity of the Prominent Hill underground operation up to 4 million mt/y. We are also aiming to extend the life of the mine beyond 2026.”
Prominent Hill is a combined open-pit and underground mining operation located about 650 km north of Adelaide, South Australia. Underground operations produced 538,000 mt of ore grading 1.93% copper in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The Prominent Hill mine came into production in early 2009 and shipped its first concentrate in April 2009. Production in 2015 totaled 130,305 mt of copper and 113,028 oz of gold contained in concentrate.