Capstone Mining has completed a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on its Santo Domingo iron oxide-copper-gold project in Region III, Chile.

The PFS, completed by engineering firm Ausenco, shows that the total estimated capital cost of the project is $1.24bn, including 14% contingency on the total costs.

The project will have an average annual production of 144Mlb of copper, 4.1Mt of iron concentrate and 15,000oz of gold, with a mine life of 18 years.

The copper production will average 255Mlb in the first five years of the project, according to the study.

The process plant will have an average throughput of 63,500t a day using SAG and ball milling, with conventional flotation utilising seawater to produce a copper concentrate.

Capstone Mining president and CEO Darren Pylot said that, with the PFS completed, the firm will proceed to award the contract for the feasibility study of the project, and has started the permitting process in Chile.

Operations at the mine are expected to commence in late 2015.