CAPRICORN Copper is ramping up during the holiday season to prepare for its operations at its mine 120 kilometres north of Mount Isa.
The company’s chief executive officer Carl Hallion said the company has spent the past year conducting its metallurgy, environmental and site studies, and had presented those findings to the company’s board in November.
$110 million has been approved to be invested into the infrastructure before production.
$27 million of that goes into the plant refurbishment and its related infrastructure.
Site activity increased in December but the process increases even further in these next two months, Mr Hallion said. Production is anticipated for the third quarter of 2017.
The mine life is around a minimum of 10 years, but the company is confident that through successful exploration this can be extended beyond 15 years.
The chief executive said the board approved an additional $14 million towards exploration.
He said the company’s employment strategy will use Mount Isa as a “point of hire” and would use the region to secure a base of supplies, a skilled workforce, and contractors.
“We’re talking to some of those groups at the moment. There will be, I suspect, local opportunities for contractors as well,” Mr Hallion said.
Mr Hallion said 220 people would be employed at the mine during regular operations.
Its entire workforce would not be employed in Mount Isa but the chief executive was encouraging locals to apply. Fly In, Fly Out workers would be flown to the Mount Isa airport.
There would be a camp that could support 300 people at the mine site, but workers would not be Drive In, Drive Out from Mount Isa.
“The problem is the road is not suitable for driving in and out on a daily basis.The 300 person camp on site is in really good condition, we need to manage the traffic. The access road off the Barkly (Highway) in the wet season can get cut off.”