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OZ Minerals supports copper and gold mining project on site

OZ Minerals has provided funding to support in situ recovery studies (ISR) for the Kapunda ISR project located in South Australia, bringing the project owners closer to determining the potential economic extraction of copper resources through ISR.

Kapunda is operated by EnviroCopper Ltd, which itself has a joint venture with Terramin, the owner of the multi-family property, to obtain up to 75% of the mining rights for the metals that can be extracted through ISR.

Under the agreement with OZ Minerals, the company has committed A$2.5 million ($1.75 million) over 18 months to support ISR research at the Kapunda project, according to Thor Mining, which owns 30% of EnviroCopper.

The funding will allow further research into the potential economic extraction of copper resources using ISR, with collaboration between the two companies starting this quarter.

EnviroCopper plans to develop a mining lease application for the Kapunda project, which has been the subject of extensive research between 2018 and 2021 to address existing knowledge gaps in the ISR industry. EnviroCopper, funded by a grant from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Collaborative Research Centres (CRC) programme totalling A$6 million (cash and in-kind), partnered with industry, CSIRO and the University of Adelaide to undertake the Work.

The primary objective was to investigate the core values of the environmental, social and economic impacts of PV mining, a proven method of metal extraction that has been in use for over 50 years and, with the latest technological advances, is being considered to extract metals such as gold and copper from mineral deposits that cannot be mined using conventional methods.

Kapunda is a town with a rich mining history, growing out of the first commercial copper mine in Australia in the 1840s. Although the mine ceased production in the early 1900s, successive mining companies have tried to recover the remaining copper over time, but conventional mining would not have been possible because of the proximity to the town. ISR mining is a possible solution to recover this remaining copper in an environmentally friendly way.