SURFACE

Cloncurry copper shows potential

A MINING restart study at True North Copper’s Cloncurry copper project has highlighted the project’s strong economic basis and confirmed the initial 4.6 year life-of-mine plan could generate good cash flows.

 TNC workers

TNC workers

The CCP is in northwest Queensland and includes four open pit deposits at Great Australia, Orphan Shear, Taipan and Wallace North.

The project incorporates the Cloncurry Operations Hub and Great Australia Mine, with extensive infrastructure there including an active oxide heap leach and solvent extraction processing plant, mine buildings, site administration facilities and workshops and support facilities.

CCP has resources of 103,000 tonnes of copper, 77,000 ounces of gold and 186,000t of cobalt.

TNC plans to mine 4.8 million tonnes of ore over the LoM at a strip ratio of 4.2:1, for delivery of 35,000t of copper and 29,000oz of gold.

The higher-grade Wallace North will be the first deposit mined.

Ore will go to the COH for crushing before being processed into sulphide ores.

Mining restart study metrics

The study estimates revenue of $367 million with free cash flow of $111 million will be generated, turning out a net present value of $88 million.

Due to the existing infrastructure upfront capital expenditure should stay low at $1.5 million while $2.2 million will be needed for operations.

Mining unit costs average $3.40 per tonne at GAM and $3.90/t at Wallace North.

Payback is expected within six months of mining restarting due to an internal rate of return of 240%.

True North Copper managing director Marty Costello said the company was ready to capitalise on an extremely favourable copper market.

"We believe our first LoM plan demonstrates the project's sound economic foundations and low-risk cost profile," he said.

"Our strategic partnerships, including a binding offtake and toll-milling agreements with Glencore, supported by debt funding secured with Nebari, underscore our operational readiness."

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