The refurbishment and restart of one of Australia’s largest copper development projects bodes well for the port of Townsville.
In December, the port will handle the first of some A$2.5B worth of concentrate exports expected over the initial 10-year mine life.
Capricorn Copper, located in a prolific base metals region, 125 km north of Mt Isa in North West Queensland, acquired the mothballed mine in October 2015, and last year completed a number of technical and economic feasibility studies, resulting in the November 2016 green light for a reopening.
The company, which is jointly owned by private mining company Lighthouse Minerals and specialist resources private equity investor EMR Capital, said it has now achieved first production of high grade, high quality copper concentrate on time and on budget.
The copper price has risen by over 30% since the commencement of the Refurbishment and Restart Project, and the venture expects to produce approximately 30,000 tpa of copper in a high grade and quality concentrate from a 900,000t copper metal resource.
“Capricorn Copper’s restart has had a positive impact for the Northwest minerals province, and the link to Townsville provides the infrastructure and resources for Capricorn Copper to access its international customers,” said Claudia Brumme-Smith, acting CEO of the Port of Townsville.