Aeon Metals has reported positive results from a study into the Walford Creek polymetallic project, flagging a start date of early 2019 for production.
The Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for a proposed open pit mine and onsite processing of the Vardy Zone at Walford Creek was compiled in conjunction with consultancy AMEC Foster Wheeler.
Aeon Metals will now work on a bankable feasibility study for the north-west Queensland project, to be completed this year.
It described the technical and associated financial outcomes of the PEA as highly encouraging, with potential to expedite the development of the Vardy Zone.
The operation is expected to cost $97.4 million to bring into production, with the study anticipating a life-of-mine revenue of $579 million.
Ore would be processed through a conventional mill and hydrometallurgical plant to produce metal concentrates to be exported via Townsville.
The planned plant capacity of 600,000 tonnes per annum would result in production of 38,000 tonnes copper, 29,000 tonnes zinc, and 3000 tonnes cobalt metals in concentrate over a six-year mine life.
The PEA contemplates the commencement of construction in Q1-2018 with planned first concentrate production in Q1-2019.
Aeon metals said its 2017 drill program would focus on mine life extension and/or project scale-up.