Copper Mountain Studies Queensland Copper-Gold Project

Copper Mountain Mining has reported positive results from a feasibility study of its 100% owned Eva copper-gold project 95 kilometers (km) northeast of Mount Isa, Queensland. The project is designed as a moderately sized, truck-and-shovel, open-pit mining operation. Pit designs encompass five deposits: Little Eva, Turkey Creek, Bedford, Lady Clayre and Ivy Ann, with Little Eva and Turkey Creek representing approximately 91% of the project’s mineral reserves. Copper Mountain is a Canadian company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is 75% owner of the Copper Mountain mine in southern British Columbia. Mitsubishi Materials owns the remaining 25%.

Initial capital costs to develop the Eva project are estimated at $350 million. The mine plan calls for production of 117 million metric tons (mt) of ore and 217 million mt of waste over a minimum mine life of 12 years. At an overall sulphide copper recovery of 93% and gold recovery of 78%, the project is forecast to produce approximately 90 million pounds per year (lb/y) of copper and 19,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold. Life-of-mine copper production is estimated at 959 million lb.

The processing plant is designed for average throughput of 28,000 mt/d during the first five years of production and 25,500 mt/d for the remaining mine life, based on the hardness variability incorporated into the geo-metallurgical model of the deposits. The flowsheet consists of primary crushing, primary and secondary grinding through a SAG-ball mill circuit, and flotation to recover copper and gold in a single concentrate. The concentrate will be thickened, filtered, and stockpiled for shipping to the Mount Isa smelter.

The Eva project is near existing infrastructure, with power available through a 220-kV powerline. Water will be supplied from a well field near the processing facility, pit dewatering, and water reclaimed from the tailings storage facility. The well field has been drilled, pump tested, and verified by independent hydrologists as sufficient for the project’s water needs.

Copper Mountain President and CEO Gil Clausen commented, “The Eva feasibility study clearly demonstrates the quality and size of this asset. Eva has the potential to add significant cashflow to our operating base, at one of the lowest capital intensities for near-term greenfield projects anywhere, in the best mining jurisdiction in the world.”

“Until we have a definitive full-funding solution in place, which we expect in the coming months, we will not commence construction nor incur large project costs. Our objective is to provide lowrisk, high-value development options to our shareholders, and we will be conservative in financing our growth plans.”

“In addition, the Eva feasibility study assumes no benefit from resources in the oxide cap, which are treated as waste material. The company believes the oxide copper at Eva may be recoverable economically based on preliminary leaching testwork. A metallurgical testwork program is currently underway, and we expect to complete our evaluation in early 2019.”

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 11 -