Workers for a billion-dollar OZ Minerals project in the Far North may be recruited from the Port Pirie region.
The crews may fly-in-fly-out or bus-in-bus-out from the proposed copper-gold mine and processing plant at Carrapateena.
The company’s group manager for technical services, Katie Hulmes, hosted a community meeting attended by about 20 people at the Northern Festival Centre on Tuesday.
The crowd included Neville and Rodney Hunt, both of Wandearah, who took a keen interest in the proposed development.
Ms Hulmes said the workers would be based at a village near the mine and some could be recruited from the gulf cities and regions.
Work on the site was hoped to begin in the first half of next year after two final approvals are granted.
The mine, pioneering a “caving operation” technique in South Australia, would produce 61,000 tonnes of copper and 63,000 ounces of gold.
The new technique means the overburden will collapse into the mine tunnel as sections are blasted and excavated. A crater will appear on the surface above the mine as the soil subsides. The company is exploring automation methods for the mine operations.
Ms Hulmes said Port Augusta was the “front-runner” site for a second processing plant linked to the project.
Whyalla was originally considered a strong candidate for the plant and locals there have not yet written off their chances.
“For reasons out of our control we have not been able to make a decision about where it will be located,” she said.
The company is an Australian-based miner with a focus on copper.
Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, it has a growth strategy focused on creating value for stakeholders including shareholders, workers, traditional owners, pastoralists and the wider community. Carrapateena, described as a world-class project, is a key pillar of the strategy.
The company says it wants to work with the state government, community and stakeholders to mutual benefit.
Carrapateena would position South Australia and Australia as global leaders in the production of premium copper concentrate.