Strategic Minerals’ subsidiary has secured environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) approval for its Leigh Creek Copper Mine (LCCM) in South Australia.

Situated in the North Flinders Ranges of South Australia, 500km north of Adelaide, LCCM covers an area of 935km² of exploration leases.

It comprises three sites, including ML 5467 Mountain of Light Copper Mine (MOL Project), ML 5498 Lorna Doone (Lyndhurst Project), and ML 5741 Mount Coffin.

The green light was given by the South Australian Department of Energy and Mining (DEM) under the Mining Act 1971 of PEPR approval for Mineral Lease (ML) 5467 – MOL project.

The PEPR approval, which relates to the processing of copper oxide, ensures the mine is ‘shovel ready’. However, this is subject to securing finance.

Strategic Minerals said that the decision relates to the copper oxide mining and processing from LCCM’s Paltridge North (PN) deposit at the nearby Mountain of Light (MoL) plant.

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Under the approval terms, Strategic Minerals is entailed to provide monitoring reports and observe areas of historical significance to indigenous communities

The company aims to have approved procedures for ore extracting and processing by the time the transitional ore is reached.

Strategic Minerals managing director John Peters said: “With regard to funding of the LCCM project, the company has had numerous parties review the project and, currently, has three interested parties who have signed the company’s confidentiality agreement and have been in our data room for a month or more. 

“These parties reflect a European-based, mining-focused fund, a large, respected, global copper supplier with activities in South Australia and the equity investment and debt funding arms of a major Australian, internationally recognised bank.

“While recent declines in the copper price, associated with fears of global recession, have impacted the forecasted profitability of the project, the associated drop in the Australian Dollar/US Dollar exchange rate has partially offset the impact on profitability ensuring that the project remains an extremely attractive one from an investors perspective.”