Blackthorn Study provides positive re-rating for Kitumba

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Blackthorn Resources (ASX: BTR) has released the results of an Optimised Prefeasibility Study (OPFS) recently completed for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Kitumba copper project in Zambia.

Blackthorn said the OPFS has delivered a positive result, which has enhanced the project’s economics and confirmed its potential to be a major, economically feasible project with an average production rate of approximately 58,000 tonnes per annum copper over an 11 year mine life, generating US$2.48 billion in EBITDA, an IRR of 21 per cent, and an NPV of US$461 million.


Kitumba project – Regional location map. Source: Company announcement


“We are delighted with the result of the PFS optimisation for the Kitumba copper project,” Blackthorn Resources CEO Mark Mitchell said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We have carefully developed the PFS to represent a fully implementable project.

“The results show that we have an economically robust project at prefeasibility study level, and we have identified a proven, cost effective mining and processing solution with the work having been done to understand the orebody.

“We will now prepare to move into the definitive feasibility study with the aim of achieving further refinements and improvements to the project economics.

“Blackthorn Resources is in discussions with a number of potential partners to help fund the definitive feasibility study, work with us to improve the project outcomes and ultimately deliver a high performance and responsible copper asset in Zambia.”

Other highlights from the Optimised PFS include:

C1 cash cost of US$1.57 per pound of copper metal produced, with an all-in cash cost of US$1.89 per pound.
Copper recovery increased to 92 per cent, with annual metal production of up to 70,000 tonnes with an average of 58,000 tonnes per annum over life of mine.

Annual ore production of approximately 3 million tonnes Run of Mine (ROM), with average head grade of 2.03 per cent copper.

31.6 million tonnes LOM production target with 642,000 tonnes of contained copper.
The project’s ore Reserve increased by 18 per cent to 641,000 tonnes contained copper metal from the October 2013 ore Reserve.

The Kitumba copper project now includes 31.5 million tonnes at 2.04 per cent copper in proven and probable reserves.