Caravel copper project, Australia – update

Image of autonomous vehicle at the Caravel project

Photo by ©Caravel Minerals

17th November 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


Font size: - +

Name of the Project
Caravel copper project.

In the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
Caravel Minerals.

Project Description
The prefeasibility study (PFS) completed in July 2022 defined a robust copper project capable of producing more that 60 000 t/y of copper in concentrate, generating strong cash flows over an initial 28-year mine life.

The PFS identified several options to improve project economics and operability, including:

  • consolidation of the proposed dual train process plant into a simplified, single-train design;
  • replacement of semiautogenous grinding mills with high-pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) in the primary comminution circuit; and 
  • the inclusion of coarse-particle flotation (CPF) in the flotation circuit.

An updated PFS, completed in September 2022, determined that:

  • consolidating the flotation circuit into a single-train design provides significant efficiencies for construction and operation, resulting in forecast capital savings of about A$77-million and operating costs savings of about A$0.46 /t ore.
  • using HPGR as an alternative to semiautogenous grinding mills reduces power consumption and operating consumables, consequently resulting in a A$0.68/t reduction in operating costs and an estimated A$23-million saving in upfront capital.
  • including CPF in the flotation circuit will further reduce operating and capital costs through lower power use because of the coarser grind-size and reduced volumes through the flotation plant.

Additional benefits will accrue through improved tailings characteristics and better water returns, lowering overall water requirements, but the financial impacts of this have not yet been included in the costings.

The mineral reserves and resources, and mining method have remained the same as in the July 2022 PFS.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The pretax net present value, at a 7% discount rate, has increased from A$1.05-billion in the July 2022 PFS to within the range of A$1.3-billion and A$1.7-billion. The pretax internal rate of return has increased from 14.7% to within the range of 16% and 20%. The payback has decreased from 6.8 years to 5.6 years.

Capital Expenditure
The adoption of the single-train processing plant with revised comminution and flotation circuits have resulted in savings of about A$100-million in capital expenditure.

Capital costs have been reduced from A$1.21-billion in the July 2022 PFS to A$1.1-billion in the 2022 updated PFS.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Caravel Minerals has provided its first detailed assessment of precious metals within the Caravel project, with an updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) calculating that the project contains 895 100 oz of gold and 46.3-million ounces of silver.

The precious metals contained in the MRE are expected to result in substantially higher by-product credits, higher cash flows and lower C1 costs, which is expected to result in a valuation increase for the project.

The updated mineral resource totals 1.276-billion tonnes at 0.24% copper, 47 ppm molybdenum, 22 ppb gold and 1.1 ppm silver for 3.03-million tonnes of contained copper, 60 600 t of contained molybdenum, 895 100 oz of contained gold and 46.2-million ounces of contained silver.

Recent metallurgical testwork showed an increase in precious metals recoveries, ranging between 50% and 60% for gold and silver, up from a previous estimate of 30%.

This will have a material impact on revenues assessed from precious metals credits.

The company sees strong potential in continuing to expand the mineral resource base at the Caravel copper project.

A bankable feasibility study is targeted for completion in the first half of 2024.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Ausenco (engineers to the PFS).

Contact Details for Project Information
Caravel Minerals, +61 8 9426 6400 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


Latest News


Stewarts & Lloyds
Stewarts & Lloyds

Stewarts & Lloyds today supplies steel and tube, pipe and fittings, valves, pumps, irrigation, fencing, profiling and roofing products. The cash...

Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East
Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East

Weir Minerals Europe, Middle East and Africa is a global supplier of excellent minerals solutions, including pumps, valves, hydrocyclones,...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Resources Watch image
Resources Watch
29th November 2023
Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (24/11/2023)
24th November 2023 By: Martin Creamer

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.155 0.205s - 91pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now