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
During the first half of 2014, the joint venture will conduct a review of the Inca de Oro Project in Chile following the completion of resource drilling at the Carmen deposit and after identifying the potential for the provision of more competitively priced power and a low cost solution to the supply of water to site.
The extended Inca de Oro feasibility study has been evaluating the potential for existing oxide and additional sulphide resources to make a material contribution to the Project. The joint venture will consider an analysis of different options for project scale from a down‐scaled higher grade 9Mtpa processing rate to an expanded 18Mtpa processing rate. Initial evaluations favour the smaller, higher grade approach, which should provide improved operating costs over the first ten years of project life.
With the completion of resource drilling and the commencement of the joint venture review, expenditure on the Project will be significantly reduced over the first half of 2014. Once the preferred development option is selected, forward evaluation expenditure will be limited to definitive engineering studies and documentation.
Carmen Copper-Gold Deposit
A program of resource definition and infill drilling continued during the December 2013 quarter at the Carmen deposit which is situated approximately 14 kilometres southwest of Inca de Oro and is scheduled to conclude in the first quarter 2014. Interpretation of drill data has identified two phases of mineralisation: an iron oxide copper‐gold phase overprinted by later porphyry‐style mineralisation. A revised Mineral Resource estimate is currently being finalised and on track for being reported in February 2014.
More detailed information regarding Inca de Oro and Carmen is available in PanAust’s quarterly reports.