Aditya Birla Minerals, a unit of the India-based Aditya Birla Group, has announced the completion of a scoping study for its Mt Gordon operations in Queensland, Australia.
The scoping study, undertaken by AMC Consultants, indicates a potential operating life of nearly 16 years for the copper mine.
According to the study, the operations support a mine production rate of 4 million tonnes a year for nine years, targeting total production of 49 million tonnes.
Production will target an average copper grade of 1.4%, at a cut-off grade: 0.9% Cu.
The cut-off grade is based on a copper price of $3.25 a pound payable copper.
The scoping study included development of several deposits, including Mammoth Surrounds, Mammoth Deeps, Mammoth North, Esperanza Pluto, Esperanza South and Green Stone.
An underground mine design suggests extraction using the sublevel cave method, with a level interval of 25 vertical metres and drawpoint crosscuts at 15m spacing.
Mine establishment of this scale requires development at 20km to 24km a year for three years, the company said in a statement.
"This is a high development rate, and would require substantial technical and infrastructure support."
The company has employed the corporate advisory division of ANZ Bank to conduct a strategic review based on this scoping study, which is expected to be completed over the next few months.
"The strategic review includes considering corporate and operational strategies for Mt Gordon, including examining all options available to ABML," said the company.
Image: Production at Mt Gordon will target an average copper grade of 1.4%, at a cut-off grade: 0.9% Cu. Credit: Jonathan Zander.