PERTH (miningweekly.com) - A scoping study into a solvent extraction/electrowinning (SXEW) plant at ASX- and TSX-listed Tiger Resources’ Kipoi copper project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has proved positive.
“The results from the preliminary economic assessment underline the robust economics of the Kipoi copper project and this should add further value for our shareholders,” said MD Brad Marwood.
“The results are very encouraging and demonstrate that Kipoi has the potential to generate significant cash flow based on its project low cash operating costs,” he added.
The base case economic analysis for the Stage 2 SXEW plant expected the project to generate an after-tax internal rate of return of 48% and a net present value of A$272-million, at a copper price of A$2.36/lb.
Marwood said on Wednesday that the existing infrastructure at Kipoi for the Stage 1 heavy media separation (HMS) facility would act as a capital springboard for the development of the Stage 2 SXEW plant.
The HMS plant is expected to produce an average 35 000 t/y of copper in a 25% concentrate, over its 39-month life-of-mine. The operation would be superseded in mid-2014 by the Stage 2 SXEW plant, which would produce LME Grade A quality copper cathode directly at the mine site.
The Stage 2 operations would initially process residues from the HMS plant, meaning that the mining schedule would only restart in 2016.
The processing facility would be a conventional SXEW processing plant capable of 50 000 t/y copper cathode production through two parallel streams.
A capital investment of around $151.4-million would be required for the Stage 2 development, with life-of-mine costs expected at $422.4-million.
“The company’s immediate aim is to further improve the Kipoi economics by expanding the resource, complete the feasibility study and move Stage 2 into development thus further up the value curve,” said Marwood.
“It is important to note that the combined Kipoi Stage 1 and 2 projects are fully funded on the basis of current average copper price projections,” he added.
Marwood said that the biggest potential impact on the Kipoi project value was likely to be realised through increasing the mineral resource base available as feed to the Kipoi infrastructure, adding that this would potentially increase the mine life or the annual plant throughput.