A preliminary assessment study into Orsu Metals’ Karchiga volcanogenic massive sulphide copper project in north-east Kazakhstan has put forward a mining life of at least 10 years.
Micon International was contracted by Orsu to prepare a scoping study for Karchiga based upon the previously announced indicated and inferred mineral resource estimates.
The study including pit optimization, contemplates mining a total of 7,580,389 tonnes grading 1.94% copper, containing 146,778 tonnes of copper metal. About 86% of the tonnage with a grade of 1.97% copper is derived from indicated resources with the remainder, at a grade of 1.71% copper, derived from inferred resources.
At a nominal annual mining and processing rate of 750,000 tonnes of mineralized feed the project life exceeds 10 years. For the purposes of the study, all oxide material was considered to be waste and assigned no economic value.
Orsu’s executive chairman Dr Sergey V Kurzin says, “The results of the study have confirmed the company’s positive expectations for the project.
“Karchiga now demonstrates robustness and excellent economic potential and reinforces our decision to fast track the project to full feasibility study stage.
“Orsu is actively negotiating with a number of potential consulting groups to undertake a full feasibility study. The company will also commence field work shortly in order to complete all required works onsite to satisfy feasibility requirements, and we look forward to bringing this project to fruition.”
The study is based on owing 100% of the Karchiga deposit. On May 20 Orsu announced that it had agreed to acquire a further 24.73% of Karchiga, which will increase its total ownership to 94.75%, subject to receipt of necessary approvals.


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