A RESOURCE definition drilling program is under way at Asiamet Resources’ Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) Copper Project in Central Kalimantan. The aim of the drilling is to enable the company to post an updated resource estimate before the end of the third quarter.

This work forms part of a feasibility study for the BKM project and follows a positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) earlier this year. The PEA by independent Australian mine planning consultants Orelogy demonstrates excellent potential for developing a robust, low strip ratio, low capital intensity copper project. The positive aspects include low operating costs, strong cash flow generation capacity and significant upside potential through further resource growth.

The PEA was the first study undertaken to evaluate the economics of developing an open pit mine and heap leach solvent extraction electro-winning facility (SX-EW) to directly produce copper cathode based on the near-surface copper deposit reported in the 2015 BKM resource estimate.

Asiamet plans to drill about 110 diamond drill holes totalling 9000 metres with the aim of enhancing resource confidence. It hopes to upgrade a majority of the current inferred resource of 49.7 million tonnes grading 0.6% copper containing 657 million pounds to the measured and indicated categories.

Indicated resources at BKM currently total 15 million tonnes @ 0.7% copper for 231 million pounds at a cut-off of 0.2%. Only measured and indicated resources can be considered for conversion to mineable ore reserves in the feasibility study.

The study will also include geotechnical drilling to define pit-slope stability and aid open pit mine design, and large diameter (PQ) drilling to collect samples from across and through the deposit for detailed metallurgical test work and mine waste characterization studies.

Other study work will include detailed metallurgical studies comprising short and long column leach tests on a suite of representative mineralized composites to determine optimum copper recoveries, assess deposit variability and provide inputs into the mine and process plant design, along with environmental and water resources studies and permitting applications.

Following a recently completed private placement of GBP1.5 million, Asiamet’s financial position has been further strengthened by the receipt of tax refunds totalling approximately US$1 million from the Indonesian Government tax department. The refunds relate to tax payments made by the company for various goods and services in 2006, 2007, 2013 and 2014.