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).
The Company completed a feasibility study for the Project in May 2016. In June the same year, PanAust submitted its application for a Special Mining Lease (SML) for the Project to the Papua New Guinean Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
In May 2017, PanAust announced the completion of an addendum to the original feasibility study. The addendum incorporated data and technical analysis from geological, geotechnical and metallurgical field programs that was not available at the time of the feasibility study.
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.
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)
In Myanmar, PanAust holds an 80 per cent interest in Wuntho Resources Company Limited (WRCL) and has established 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.
The joint venture holds three Exploration Licences within a 213 square-kilometre contract area in the Sagaing Region of Northern Mynamar. The Exploration Licences comprise three tenement blocks: Hel Chain, Pin Hin Hka and Nam Awl.
In 2017, delays in the approval of additional Exploration Licences in Myanmar impeded planned field exploration activities. Encourages progress towards securing the Licences was made late in the year. Pending the approval of the Licences, a geochemical sampling and mapping program will resume in 2018, with a drilling program set to commence later in the year depending on the results obtained from the earlier work.
In December 2016, PanAust entered into a farm-in agreement with Metro Mining Limited (an Australian ASX-listed company) for its Myanmar subsidiary's 80 per cent interest in the Mahar San Exploration Tenements. In 2017, mapping, soil sampling and a 1,200 metre diamond drilling program was completed at Mahar San.
For more information about the Myanmar Licences, see the quarterly reports and other statements on the Company Announcements page.
Contract Area exploration, Laos (PanAust 90 per cent)
In 2017, drilling at Pha Piang and Phu Dok On in the Company's 2,600 square-kilometre Contract Area in Laos was completed. The results from this drilling were not compelling enough to continue exploration of the targets tested.
At the KTL Copper-Gold Project, 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.
PanAust continues to search for opportunities to invest in copper and/or gold projects globally. The Company is targeting advanced projects that are in production or can be brought into production within a few years and are of suitable mine life and cost structure.