By MALUM NALU
Wafi‐Golpu joint venture participants, Harmony and Newcrest, yesterday announced a significant upgrade to the ore reserve estimate for the Golpu copper-gold deposit located in Morobe province, following the completion of a technical pre‐feasibility study (PFS).
The PFS supports an updated ore reserve estimate containing 12.4 million ounces of gold and 5.4 million tonnes of copper.
The study also confirms Golpu as a world‐class deposit with an expected mine life of more than 25 years.
The nearby Wafi gold deposit is in concept study, with progress to PFS likely to occur later this calendar year.
|The Wafi-Golpu project area in Morobe province.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU|
“The PFS proposes that the Golpu deposit be mined via a large, long life, deep underground mine using the block caving method,” according to a statement from Morobe Mining Joint Ventures.
“It proposes that the ore be treated by flotation to produce a copper-gold concentrate which would be piped to storage facilities where it would be dewatered prior to loading onto ships for transport to smelters in the region.
“Various options have been identified for key infrastructure including tailings storage sites, power generation options and ship loading facilities.
“These will require further investigation and stakeholder engagement during the feasibility study phase which could take around 24 months to complete.
“The capital cost is estimated at K 10 billion to establish the mine and achieve first commercial production, which is anticipated around 2019.
“The PFS sets out a sustainable development approach focusing on people, environment, social environment and health and safety.
“Before the project proceeds to feasibility study status, the joint venture participants will be engaging extensively with key stakeholders including all levels of government and landowner representatives to ensure alignment on the project development and key elements of the next phase of work.”
Subject to the satisfactory resolution of these outstanding matters, Newcrest and Harmony anticipate they will progress the Golpu project into the feasibility study phase during the first half of calendar 2013.
In the meantime, further study work will occur.
Joint venture participants, Harmony and Newcrest said: “This is an exciting project and we are keen to progress it to the next phase following further consultation with stakeholders to ensure alignment.”