OZ Minerals initiative turns waste into wealth

OZ Minerals has launched a new initiative exploring ways to manage mining waste, with the goal to create increased value and reduce the industry’s overall footprint.  As part of its Think & Act Differently incubator, OZ Minerals has partnered with Amira Global, Unearthed and the International Copper Association Australia to launch the Waste to Value Crowd Challenge.

This challenge will look at processes and practices to minimise the production of waste, while exploring a different line of thinking, unearthing what value may lie within waste that’s already been produced.

The Waste to Value Crowd Challenge is taking a unique approach, looking for ideas that could be unlocked or partially investigated through short experiments.  Companies and individuals from around the world will be invited to propose an approach that reimagines mining and processing to minimise, eliminate and find value in waste.  Those successful will then join the Think & Act Differently incubator and be supported in their next steps to develop a demonstration of their solution.

They will receive funding, mentoring, opportunities for collaboration, capability uplift and exposure to mining operations through the incubator.  Through this challenge, opportunities await for future investments, including other mining companies eager to make their own mark in decarbonisation.

OZ Minerals eyes West Musgrave investment decision

OZ Minerals expects to make a final investment decision for the West Musgrave copper-nickel project in Western Australia during the second half of 2022.  According to OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole, the company is considering additional opportunities related to the project outside of the pre-feasibility study update from December.

This includes increasing production above the current rate of 12 million tonnes per annum and the possibility of a third vertical roller mill to enable energy management and emission reduction.  The company is also looking at opportunities to adopt a zero emissions mine and mining fleet, including the construction of a renewable energy power plant.  With the final study expected next year, Cole said COVID-19 restrictions have impacted progress on a land access agreement with Traditional Owners.

Cole said hard border closures causing labour shortages in Western Australia may also impact the final study.

“As we progress the final study phase, impacts on materials and labour availability in Western Australia, have the potential to put pressure on capital costs,” he said.

“We will take these impacts into consideration as we develop the project schedule and budget next year in preparation for a potential final investment decision in the second half of 2022.”

Credit: Australian Mining