With the heady days of record-breaking mineral prices now a faint memory, doors are shutting, production is easing and office space is becoming a lot easier to get as resources companies across the country shed costs and staff.
So it was a snapshot back to mining’s heyday when one of the country’s key resources companies celebrated the opening of its new headquarters – and in South Australia.
Oz Minerals has whacked its stake in the ground and confirmed its commitment to Adelaide by relocating from Melbourne – at a cost of $10 million to the South Australian taxpayer.
Today Premier Jay Weatherill officially opened OZ Minerals’ new corporate head office in Adelaide which finalised the resource company’s move across the border.
“It’s a great pleasure to open the new head offices of OZ Minerals – now a proudly South Australian company,” Weatherill said.
The move has provided jobs for more than 50 South Australians and hundreds more at its mine sites at Prominent Hill.
The company also has plans to expand its Carrapateena project.
OZ Minerals chairman Neil Hamilton said the move had been “seamless”.
“There’s a real chance that South Australia will become a copper mining powerhouse and OZ Minerals wants to be a part of it,” Hamilton said.
“Most of our assets are in this state so it makes sense to call Adelaide home.”
While the move has not been cheap for the state with the government putting $10 million of its own money into luring the copper producer to SA, the investment is showing some returns.
“We underlined our support for OZ Minerals move to Adelaide by investing $10 million in a joint research project to improve the quality of copper concentrates in this state,” Weatherill said.
World-first copper extraction technology was developed at University of Adelaide through the partnership to accelerate exploration near Prominent Hill.
“This research investment is already paying dividends with early results showing that using this technology we can produce one of the world’s highest copper-in-concentrate levels without impurities,” Weatherill said.
“The results of this research will deliver significant benefits for the State, not just for the Carrapateena project, but also for the entire South Australian copper industry.”
OZ Minerals CEO and managing director Andrew Cole said the partnership had returned encouraging results.
“The Hydromet technology trial is now complete and could have significant and far-reaching benefits if and when it’s applied commercially,” Cole said.
“The … trial has surpassed all of our expectations.
“The results show that using this technology we can produce a copper concentrate with one of the world’s highest copper-in-concentrate levels without impurities.
“This is great result for OZ Minerals and for South Australia. It has the potential to benefit mining companies both in Australia and around the world.”
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