Xstrata Copper has increased its mineral resource estimate at the Horse-Ivaal-Trukai (HIT) deposit at the Frieda River copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The new resource estimate consists of a total of 2,090Mt at a grade of 0.45% copper, 0.22g/t of gold and 0.7g/t of silver, using a copper cut-off grade of 0.2% copper.

The measured resources consists of 37% of the estimated total mineral resource, 16% more than the estimate released in February 2011.

Xstrata Copper project development Asia Pacific executive general manager Peter Forrestal said that the firm has completed the drilling and technical studies for the feasibility study, which will be delivered in January 2012.

“We continue to undertake extensive environmental baseline studies and stakeholder engagement activities for the project’s environmental and social impact assessment,” Forrestal said.