Oz Minerals looking elsewhere

PROJECT: Oz Minerals have announced that Port Augusta is its preferred destination for its Concentrate Treatment Plant, despite earlier indications that Whyalla was in the front seat for the project. Photo: Rob Homer.
PROJECT: Oz Minerals have announced that Port Augusta is its preferred destination for its Concentrate Treatment Plant, despite earlier indications that Whyalla was in the front seat for the project. Photo: Rob Homer.

Whyalla may be overlooked as a destination for Oz Minerals’ 150 million Concentrate Treatment Plant (CTP).

The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Arrium’s administrators to explore site, infrastructure and port options at Whyalla for the CTP back in May 2016.

But a recent update by Oz Minerals identified Port Augusta as its preferred host for the plant.

Should the plant be built in Whyalla, the community would benefit from approximately 100 long term jobs.

A spokesperson for the company said Whyalla had not been ruled out as a potential destination.

“There was the opportunity to look at Whyalla as part of the Arrium process, that process is ongoing and Whyalla has not been formally ruled out,” they said.

“There is no one single factor we look at in terms of determining location.

“The Upper Spencer Gulf has a number of suitable sites for a plant like this and it’s about evaluating a range of factors that best suit the wider project.”

Oz Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said the construction of the project in the Upper Spencer Gulf would still generate employment in Whyalla.

“By building the CTP in the Upper Spencer Gulf we will generate direct employment, through both the construction and operation phases for the whole region including Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Augusta,” he said.

Mr Cole said the company are also planning to host a series of regional meetings in May so that businesses and communities in the region could ‘better understand the potential for involvement’.

The meetings will also update the community on new developments on the project including the preferred site for the project  in Port Augusta.

“For regional communities an important message is that we are engaging major contractors early and we will be stipulating that they must ensure local business participation,” Mr Cole said.

The plant is a result of an expansion of Oz Minerals’ $975 million Carrapateena copper mine in the far north, and will service both the Carrapateena and Prominent Hill mines.