Xstrata Copper has amended the mineral resource estimate for the Horse-Ivaal-Trukai deposit at the Frieda River copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea.

The new estimate includes a 26% hike in resource tonnage, recognition of measured resources for the first time and indicated and measured tonnes accounting for 40% of increased resource tonnage.

Under the revised estimate, there are more than one billion tonnes of indicated, measured and inferred resources at 0.29 g/t gold, 0.8g/t silver and 0.53% copper using a 0.3% copper cut-off grade.

Xstrata Copper executive general manager of project evaluation Peter Forrestal said these results demonstrate the huge potential of the Freida River project as a major copper-gold producer in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Since assuming management control of the Frieda River Project in January 2007, Xstrata Copper has conducted an aggressive evaluation programme, completing 65,000m of drilling as part of scoping and pre-feasibility studies,” Forrestal said.

“The increased scale of and confidence in the resource indicated by this revised estimate for the Horse-Ivaal-Trukai deposit underlines the success of this approach.

“Our current focus is to conduct various technical studies to support a pre-feasibility study which is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2010.”

Xstrata’s joint venture partners for the Freida River project include Highlands Pacific and OMRD.