Pre-development and exploration_banner

Frieda River Copper-Gold Project, Papua New Guinea (PanAust 80 per cent)

PanAust holds an 80 per cent interest in the Frieda River Copper-Gold Project in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with joint venture partner, Highlands Pacific holding the remaining 20 per cent. Upon the grant of a special mining lease (SML) the Government of PNG has a right to acquire, at cost, up to a 30 per cent interest in the Project which, if exercised in full, would reduce PanAust's holding to 55 per cent and Highlands Pacific to 15 per cent.

A SML application for the Project was registered with the Mineral Resources Authority of PNG in June 2016. The lodgement followed the completion of the Project feasibility study which was announced on 19 May 2016.

In May 2017, PanAust announced the completion of a feasibility study addendum for the Project. The addendum incorporates data and technical analysis from 2016 geological, geotechnical and metallurgical field programs that was not available at the time of the feasibility study completion in May 2016 and subsequent lodgement of the SML application in June 2016.

The Horse-Ivaal-Trukai, Ekwai and Koki (HITEK) global Mineral Resource is now estimated to contain 2.64 billion tonnes of mineralisation at an average grade of 0.44 per cent copper and 0.23g/t gold representing 12 million tonnes (Mt) of copper and 19 million ounces (Moz) of gold.

PanAust considers that the optimum approach to this substantial Mineral Resource is via a multi-staged development that involves an initial project stage that forms the platform for subsequent phases of exploration, Mineral Resource definition and development.

The feasibility study and addendum contemplates an initial Project based on the HITEK copper-gold porphyry deposits and comprises a large-scale, open-pit mining operation that supplies a conventional process plant with a nominal capacity of 40 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). Average annual production of metal in concentrate is expected to be 175,000 tonnes copper and 250,000 ounces of gold. The initial mine life is estimated a 18 years with 714Mt of mill feed that includes 686Mt of Ore Reserve. The HITEK open-pit design is based exclusively on Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources and mill feed represents approximately a quarter of the global Mineral Resource. The Project will have a competitive C1 cost of US$0.69/lb copper (average over the life-of-mine) that will place it in within the first quartile of the global copper cost curve.

There are multiple pathways to further expand and extend the initial Project with potential development scenarios indicating that mill feed could be increased from 714Mt to 1,700Mt on currently known Mineral Resources. The HITEK deposits have not been closed off by drilling, and together with additional known deposits and exploration targets, offer considerable potential to increase the Mineral Resource base to support mine life extension and capital expansion. The nearby high-grade Nena epithermal copper-gold deposits offer further potential for subsequent development that leverages the infrastructure facilities identified in the feasibility study.

On 21 December 2016, PanAust announced the completion of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Project and that an electronic copy of the document had been lodged with the Conservation and Environment Project Authority (CEPA) of PNG.

Follow this link to view the location of the Frieda River Copper-Gold Project in PNG.

For further information about the Project, see PanAust's quarterly reports Company Announcements listed on the 'Company Announcement' page.

Myanmar Exploration Licences, Myanmar (PanAust 80 per cent)

Myanmar represents an opportunity for PanAust to expand its presence in Southeast Asia.

PanAust holds an 80 per cent interest in Wuntho Resources Company Limited (WRCL), a joint venture with Myanmar Energy Resources Group International Company Limited (MERG), a Myanmar-based company, which holds the remaining 20 per cent of WRCL.

In January 2016, following approval by the Government of Myanmar Cabinet and President’s Office, WRCL was granted three Exploration Licences in Myanmar. The Exploration Licences comprise three tenement blocks – Hel Chain, Pin Hin Hka and Nam Awl – covering a 600 square-kilometre area. The area is located in the Sagaing Region of northern Myanmar and is prospective for copper and gold.

A program of geochemical sampling and mapping commenced in 2016. Data analysis continues with the aim of identifying potential drill targets.

In December 2016, PanAust announced the expansion of its Myanmar exploration program through a farm-in agreement with Metro Mining Limited over the Mahar San Exploration Project in the Sagaing Region.

For more information about the Myanmar Licences, see the quarterly reports and other statements on the Company Announcements page.

Phu Kham district exploration, Laos (PanAust 90 per cent)

Exploration activities in the Phu Kham district have transitioned into early stage generative and target identification work. It is planned that this work will continue throughout 2016 seeking new geological targets for evaluation.

An airborne electromagnetic survey of the Company's 2,600 square-kilometre Contract Area identified a number of geophysical anomalies; these anomalies will be investigated in 2017.

KTL Copper‐Gold Project, Laos (PanAust 90 per cent)

The KTL Copper-Gold Project is located in the northern part of the Contract Area and is focused on the KTL copper-gold deposit which lies close to existing road and power infrastructure, and is near the town of Phonsavan.

Desktop work and a program of environmental rehabilitation were undertaken in 2016. No material site activities are currently being undertaken or are planned. 

Inca de Oro Copper-Gold Project (PanAust 66 per cent), Carmen deposit (PanAust 100 per cent), Chile

PanAust completed a feasibility study on the Inca de Oro Project in 2014. No material site activities were undertaken at Inca de Oro or the nearby Carmen deposit in 2016, or are planned.

Targeted acquisitions

PanAust continues to search for opportunities to invest in copper and gold projects globally and is targeting advanced projects that are in production or can be brought into production within a few years and are of suitable scale, long-life and low-cost.