Carrapateena Expansion Project

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Mine TypeUnderground
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Block caving
  • Sub-level caving
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe Carrapateena Block Cave expansion was approved by the OZ Minerals Board in February 2021 and construction of Block Cave decline commenced.

The Carrapateena cave safely propagated to surface at the end of CY2022 (prior to the acquisition of OZ Minerals by BHP), which was an important de risking event for the mine.

During 2023, progress was also made on converting the bottom half of the Carrapateena mine from a sub-level cave to a block cave, with the aim of unlocking the mine’s potential to be a multigenerational, low quartile cash cost producing province. Significant progress was made during the year on enabling underground infrastructure, such as crushers and ventilation. The tailings storage facility main embankment Stage 2 lift was completed and a new regrind mill was commissioned.
Related AssetCarrapateena


CompanyInterestOwnershipInvestor's Info
BHP Group Ltd. 100 % Indirect
OZM Carrapateena Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary Oz Minerals Ltd.

On May 2, 2023, BHP announced the completion of the OZ Minerals acquisition and implementation of the scheme of arrangement for BHP Lonsdale Investments Pty Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHP Group Limited, to acquire 100% of the shares in OZ Minerals Limited (OZL) (the Scheme). BHP Group Limited is now the ultimate parent company of OZL.



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Deposit type

  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork
  • IOCG


The Carrapateena Project is located within the highly prospective Olympic Dam copper-gold (Cu-Au) Province. This is a metallogenic belt along the eastern margin of the Gawler Craton in South Australia, which hosts the Prominent Hill Mine, Olympic Dam mine and the Moonta-Wallaroo historic mining district. The Craton comprises variably deformed and metamorphosed sedimentary, volcanic and plutonic rock, spread from the late Archean to Mesoproterozoic, and it has been subdivided into a series of domains – the Carrapateena deposit being part of the Olympic Domain. The age of the iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) mineralisation in the Gawler Craton is uncertain, though it is interpreted in the literature to be associated with Mesoproterozoic magmatism of the Hiltaba Suite and the Gawler Range Volcanics.

The Carrapateena copper-gold mineral deposit is hosted in a brecciated granite complex, with both bornite and chalcopyrite copper mineralisation present – the bornite being a distinct higher grade zone of mineralisation.

The vast majority of copper and gold mineralisation within the deposit is hosted by hematite-dominated breccias with moderate mineralisation occurring within hematite altered granite breccias (Eastern Cu domain). Sulphides are the primary copper-bearing minerals in the Carrapateena Breccia Complex. Copper and gold mineralisation is structurally and chemically controlled, with subsequent alteration destroying mineralising structures. The most abundant sulphides are chalcopyrite, pyrite and bornite, and these constitute the majority of sulphides at Carrapateena. The less common sulphides are chalcocite, digenite and covellite, and in smaller amounts sphalerite and galena.

Gold mineralisation at the Carrapateena orebody is almost exclusively hosted by hematite altered breccias. Gold grains are usually very small (10 µm), and when seen in polished section, are often intimately associated with copper sulphides. Gold grains are commonly a combination of gold and minor silver (electrum).



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills


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CommodityUnitsAvg. Annual
Copper kt 115
Gold koz 115
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Operational metrics

Annual ore mining rate  ....  Subscribe
Annual processing rate  ....  Subscribe
Ore tonnes mined, LOM  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2020 study.

Production Costs

All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Copper USD  ....  Subscribe
C1 cash costs Copper USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Copper USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Silver USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Gold USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2020 study / presentation.
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

UG mining costs ($/t milled) AUD 9 *  
Processing costs ($/t milled) AUD  ....  Subscribe
G&A ($/t milled) AUD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2020 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Expansion CapEx $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 8.5% $M AUD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.


Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 26, 2023

Aerial view:


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