PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Walford Creek metals project, in Queensland, has estimated a projected life-of-mine revenue of some A$579-million.
ASX-listed Aeon Metals reports that the project is expected to produce 38 000 t of copper, 29 000 t of zinc and 3 000 t of cobalt metals in concentrate over a six-year mine life, based on a resource of 3.6-million tonnes, grading 1.15% copper, 1.06% zinc and 0.18% cobalt.
The openpit operation is expected to cost some A$97-million to develop to first production, and projected operating costs have been estimated at A$97/t of run-of-mine production.
The Vardy zone is expected to deliver a life-of-mine net cash flow of some A$84-million and an average earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of around A$39-million a year.
Subject to funding and the necessary approvals, the PEA considered the start of construction in the first quarter of 2018, with first planned concentrate to be produced in the first quarter of 2019.
Aeon will now proceed with a bankable feasibility study on the Vardy zone, with the 2017 drilling campaign expected to start in the second quarter, incorporating the Vardy zone in-fill programme, as well as the near-surface, along-strike Vardy zone extension drilling.