AUSENCO, together with joint-venture partner Downer, is partnering with OZ Minerals to deliver a capital and operationally efficient plant on the Carrapateena project.

The Carrapateena copper-gold project, about 160km north of Port Augusta in South Australia’s highly prospective Gawler Craton, has been acknowledged as one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits, with an estimated mine life of 20 years.

Construction of Carrapateena is underway and commissioning is scheduled for Q4 2019 after which the project will ramp up to steady state production.

As part of its work on the project, Ausenco provided a number of innovative solutions including optimising the plant footprint, creating an effective equipment layout, and aggressively pursuing reductions in quantities.

Ausenco also minimised vehicle and pedestrian traffic, which increased safety; reduced roads and minimised distances between process steps, which increased efficiency; reduced capital and maintenance costs; and found constructability efficiencies to reduce man-hours on site.

As in previous projects, Ausenco’s design and engineering was fit for purpose, with no unnecessary engineering or costs.

On the Carrapateena project, the joint venture with Downer has allowed Ausenco to draw on Downer’s successful and focussed construction expertise.

Ausenco executive vice president, global project delivery, Ron Douglas said building the joint venture into a seamless single delivery structure and execution in a relatively remote area was not without its challenges.

“Fortunately, Ausenco has many years of experience in delivering complex projects in similar locations, so we were able to use this project management expertise to ensure the successful delivery of the project as planned,” Mr Douglas said.

Ausenco has developed a well-established reputation around the design and supply of copper concentration plants, such as that at Carrapateena.

The company has continued to be flexible and to work with its clients to support them throughout their projects.

This article appeared in Australian Mining Review, December 2018