Coppermoly has announced significant gold and copper recoveries from flotation tests on drill core samples from its Nakru-1 copper-silver-gold project on New Britain Island.
During normal milling practices recoveries of 87% copper and 53% gold were recorded, indicating a concentrate production of 76,500 tonnes assaying 25.1% copper and 8.3 grams/tonne gold or 19,200 tonnes of copper per year. Assays of the final concentrate indicate it will be sold easily to smelters with no major penalties for trace elements.
Nakru-1 is in central New Britain Island and has a maiden inferred resource of 38.4 million tonnes @ 0.61% copper, 0.29 grams/tonne gold and 1.8 grams/tonne silver. This tenement is the most advanced of Coppermoly’s three projects within the region, about 50km south of the port of Kimbe.
Last month, Coppermoly signed Odyssey Capital Partners to help it retain ownership of the tenements after joint venture partner Barrick PNG Exploration decided to sell its 72% stake.
The recently announced conceptual mining study (CMS) for Nakru-1 shows development of the copper deposit could be cash flow positive within two years of production. The CMS includes the key operating features of an open pit containing an estimated 40 million tonnes, with a mining rate of 5 million tonnes per annum giving the project an eight year mine life. The estimated capital cost of the project is US$458 million, with operating costs put at US$16.50 per tonne of ore.
Coppermoly’s managing director Peter Swiridiuk says additional drilling is required to define the extent of overall mineralization and tonnage potential ahead of any pre-feasibility studies. Barrick is required to fund a $2.21 million exploration program before the end of 2012 while seeking a buyer for its stake.