THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Rex Minerals (ASX: RXM) has released maiden open pit Ore Reserves for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Hillside copper project on the Yorke Peninsula, in South Australia.
The maiden Ore Reserve has been completed on the back of a recently-completed Pre-feasibility Study, which the company claimed designated Hillside to be Australia’s largest undeveloped copper project with a 15 year mine plan producing 70,000 tonnes per annum of copper (greater than 100,000 tonnes copper equivalent).
The JORC-compliant Ore Reserve for Hillside has come in at 120 million tonnes at 0.53 per cent copper, 0.14 grams per tonne gold and 12.8 per cent iron for contained metal of 636,000 tonnes of copper, 540,000 ounces of gold and 14,500,000 tonnes of iron ore.
Hillside Ore Reserve – February 2013. Source: Company announcement
The company indicated the numbers equate to a copper equivalent grade of 0.77 per cent.
“The Hillside Reserve is currently Australia’s largest open pit copper reserve,” Rex Minerals managing director Mark Parry said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Pending a further reserve upgrade by the end of 2013, Hillside is expected to host Australia’s largest copper reserves (after Olympic Dam) with over 10 years of mine life in Reserves and over 15 years of production within the life of mine plan.
“With Hillside’s maiden Ore Reserve complete, Rex will now shift its focus to the Hillside BFS which we anticipate to be finalised in the second half of 2013.
“Additionally, as part of the BFS in 2013, Rex will deliver an upgraded Ore Reserve to complement the already substantial Resource base.”
Rex has also been conducting metallurgical test work as part of the Hillside BFS, which it said has produced some improvements to the copper and gold recoveries.
The ongoing work has already produced revised metallurgical recoveries of:
– Copper recovery of 88 per cent (compared to 85 per cent in PFS); and
– Gold recovery of 84 per cent (compared to 82 per cent in PFS).