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The Carrapateena copper/gold mine in South Australia, has reached nameplate mill throughput rates, with stable operational periods at 500 t/h and in excess of 90% runtime achieved for a 24-hour period.

ASX-listed Oz Minerals said that flotation recovery for several shifts have also exceeded 90%, with concentrate grades in excess of 40% copper.CEO Andrew Cole noted that while the mine produced its first concentrate in December of last year, the minerals processing plant was subject to further work by the construction crew to complete the final commissioning tasks during January and much of February.

The processing plant will continue to be tested and optimised through the first half of 2020, and along with the mine production ramp-up, will drive progressively higher throughput and concentrate produced during the second half of the year.

 Carrapateena is expected to achieve a run-rate of 4.25-million tonnes a year by the end of 2020, and will increase throughput rates to between 4.7-million and 5-million tonnes a year from 2023.

As the ramp-up progresses, production for 2020 is expected to range between 20 000 t and 25 000 t of copper and between 35 000 oz and 40 000 oz of gold.