Chile – Inca de Oro
In Chile, PanAust owns the Carmen deposit and holds a majority interest in the nearby Inca de Oro Copper-Gold Project through an incorporated joint venture with Codelco.
The Inca de Oro sulphide feasibility study, which was completed in 2012, considered a 12Mtpa open pit and flotation processing operation. The study concluded that the cost profile after the first five years of production needed to be improved for the Inca de Oro Project to be economically robust.
The joint venture partners agreed that there was significant potential to improve the Project through evaluation of the oxide resources at Inca de Oro and the definition and the potential identification and incorporation of higher value mineralisation from nearby deposits into the development plan.
Inca de Oro Copper-Gold Project, Chile
The extended Inca de Oro/Carmen feasibility study considered a range of project scale options from 9Mtpa to 18 Mtpa. Project optimisations demonstrate that a reduced mill throughput rate of approximately 9Mtpa and a higher copper cut-off grade should enhance the economic return through lower capital and operating cost structures.
A revised work plan for 2014 has been adopted by the joint venture. The first phase is to complete the engineering studies to sufficient detail to support the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report in mid-2014. The second phase is to finalise the study to a feasibility standard over a six-month period once acceptable agreements have been reached on a number of commercial matters that will have a material impact on the viability of the Project and any investment decision.
The EIA approval process is expected to take approximately 18 months from the date of submission.
Carmen Copper-Gold Deposit, Chile
The Carmen deposit is situated approximately 14 kilometres southwest of Inca de Oro.
The latest program of resource definition and infill drilling at the Carmen deposit was concluded in January 2014. The results will be incorporated into a revised mineral resource estimate which is currently being finalised.
More detailed information regarding Inca de Oro and Carmen is available in PanAust’s quarterly reports.