Khoemacau Copper Mining has made progress towards starting the construction of its Khoemacau copper/silver project, in Botswana, and expects first copper concentrate to be produced in the first half of 2021.
The company has signed, together with its parent company Cupric Canyon Capital, a $565-million project funding package to start development of the project, which was expected to close early in the second quarter.
The funding comprises a $275-million senior debt facility fom Red Kite Mine Finance, a $265-million silver stream from Royal Gold, and a $25-million subordinated debt facility from Royal Gold.
The project funding package will be used for construction of Khoemacau’s 3.6-million-tonne-a-year starter project, which has a resource of 91-million tonnes at a head grade of 2.02% copper and 21.4 g/t silver.
The direct construction cost of the fully mechanised, underground mining starter project is $397-million. Construction will take about two years to complete.
The company expects initial production to average 62 000 t/y of copper and 1.9-million ounces a year of silver, over a 21-year mine life.
Khoemacau has been developing the 4 040 km2 land package over the past six years. The company has drilled 285 000 m, completed permitting and land access agreements, secured the required power and water, and undertaken advanced engineering, procurement and mobilisation such that it was ready for full construction release of the starter project, pending closing of the project funding package.
The company plans to develop the Zone 5 orebody as three separate underground mines, each producing 1.2-million tonnes a year on average for the first five years.