Premier opens new Prominent Hill operation

20/08/2012

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The Ankata underground mine at Prominent Hill has been officially opened by Premier Jay Weatherill.

The $148 million mine was constructed over the past two years to target a high-grade deposit located west of the existing open pit at the Prominent Hill copper-gold operation.

Mr Weatherill said OZ Minerals' operations in the State's north were an example of how companies can share the benefits of the mining boom with surrounding communities.

"This new mine has added more than 150 jobs to its 1200-strong workforce and the employment opportunities have remained locally-focused, with about 80 per cent of the OZ Minerals workforce living in South Australia," Mr Weatherill said.

"OZ Minerals also runs many programs aimed at educating their employees.

"It has funded many community programs aimed at breaking the cycle of social disadvantage and also mentored Aboriginal business owners," he said.

"It has provided education support, such as scholarships, for secondary and tertiary students from regional and remote areas.

"As well as Prominent Hill, South Australia has several other major approved projects under construction that in their own right will be significant drivers for investment, infrastructure, skills and new jobs."

OZ Minerals Managing Director and CEO Terry Burgess said the commencement of the Ankata underground mine was a significant milestone for OZ Minerals and a highly valuable addition to Prominent Hill.

"Major projects like these require a lot of dedication and effort from multiple parties to get them up and running," he said.

"Our workforce has expanded to include underground mining professionals, whose expertise and experience have enabled us to develop this challenging and rewarding project.

"DMITRE and the South Australian Government have played a critical role in the successful development of this project.

"Their approach to development and implementation of major projects like this one has been world-class."