Altona Mining has released details of an updated definitive feasibility study for its Cloncurry copper project, with an expected start-up cost of $288 million and an increased mine life of 14 years.
It comes less than a fortnight after the company announced that it had severed its funding deal with Sichuan Railway Investment Group Co for the project and was seeking an alternative backer.
Altona managing director Alistair Cowden said the study update showed an annual operating surplus before tax and sustaining capital of about $141 million.
“This highlights the value that will be released once the project is developed,” he said.
The study was completed to provide an up-to-date project status, taking in all technical work of prior studies with a number of significant developments since the initial definitive feasibility study in May 2012 and an update in March 2014.
It includes new resource estimates and geological/geotechnical models for the Little Eva and Bedford deposits as well as updated cost estimates.
The project, 95km north-east of Mount Isa, would be centred on a large-scale open pit mine at Little Eva and five satellite pits; Turkey Creek,
Bedford North and South, Lady Clayre and Ivy Ann.
Ore would be processed at a 7Mtpa processing plant with a technically simple crushing, grinding and flotation circuit.
The pre-production capital cost including pre-strip, processing plant and associated infrastructure is estimated at $288 million.
The operation would produce 150,000 tonnes per annum of readily copper-gold concentrate containing an average of 39,000 tonnes per annum copper and 17,200 ounces per annum gold for the first five years of full production.
Permitting for the project is largely completed, an environmental authority has been received and mining leases have been granted.