Prominent Hill sustainability to grow through electrification

Prominent Hill operation at night. Image: OZ Minerals

OZ Minerals has signed an agreement with Safescape to trial a Bortana electric underground light vehicle at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia.

The agreement is part of the company’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move towards underground vehicle electrification at Prominent Hill.

IGO also completed a pilot of Safescape Bortana battery electric vehicle at the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine in Western Australia last year.

This was a precursor to electrifying larger classes of underground equipment at the site.

The Bortana electric vehicle (EV) prototype was first trialled at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine in Victoria from late 2019 to early 2020.

With sustainability becoming a growing focus at OZ Minerals, the company added eight Indigenous Australians to the Prominent Hill underground mine.

“A virtual discussion with shareholders was held during the quarter to demonstrate how the OZWay is embedding sustainability in our systems and processes through the lens of creating value for our five stakeholder groups – employees, communities, governments, suppliers and shareholders,” OZ Minerals chief executive Andrew Cole said.

One measure of such sustainability is the number and average duration for resolution of community grievances.

At the Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia, OZ Minerals partnered with Western Access Road construction contractor, Exact Contracting, to provide a tertiary scholarship for a Kokatha university student.

“The scholarship … sees this as a life changing opportunity and will also undertake paid work with Exact or OZ Minerals in the holiday periods,” OZ Minerals stated.

The mining company also increased the monthly base pay of employees below the executive level.

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