- Drilling continues to provide ore intercepts to expand the resource
- Metallurgical column test work is advancing well to optimise processing parameters.
- The Company has made senior management appointments to boost project progress towards copper production.
Australian explorer Cyprium Metals Limited (ASX:CYM) updated about its progress across various development fronts on its Nifty Copper Project. Since taking control of the site, the Company has made significant progress towards establishing itself as an Australian copper producer.
Let us review the recent developments bolstering the company’s progress towards its copper production goals.
Drilling programmes is advancing well to close the gaps in resource, to target extensional areas of the mineralised formation and to upgrade mineral resource confidence. Currently, Cyprium is completing the Phase 2 reverse circulation (RC) drilling programme in the Southeast of the Nifty open pit.
The RC drilling continues to intersect ore grade intervals and following receipt of assays, will be included in the mineral resource model for the design and scheduling of the planned Nifty open pit. Subsequently, the Company also intends to undertake a follow up Phase 2 and Phase 3 drilling programme in the Southwest and the Southeast of the Nifty open pit, respectively.
Design and scheduling of the open pit
The Company is undertaking the design and scheduling of the open pit based on the recently released Nifty Mineral Resource. Any increase in resources from the drilling results has not been included in the current pit envelope. The Company believes that the designs will be sufficient to be included in the Restart Study and for the Finance process. However, they will not be final until the resource re-estimation during the Q1 2022 at the earliest.
Source: CYM Update, dated 6 December 2021
Engineering design of the SX-EW plant and heap leach pads
Engineering design of the SX-EW plant and heap leach pads is nearing completion. Works Approval submission require the new heap leach pads construction and design detail to commence construction activities. In parallel with the design process, the Company is also issuing tenders for the purchase and supply of long lead items.
Metallurgy results align with expectation
Metallurgy check column test work is advancing. Four columns have been undertaken. Results are in line with expectation and optimisation of reagent consumptions continues. Post this round of work, several follow up tests will be undertaken to further optimise the operating parameters. Follow up tests will also be undertaken on core and sonic drill samples. A consultant has been engaged for advancing the project on metallurgical front, and this work is well advanced.
Finance to commence post Restart Study
Finance process will commence once the Restart Study is finalised. Outstanding items are scheduled, with allowance for an extended approval timeline, and final costs on a number of items including civil construction elements of the heap leach pads and associated crushing infrastructure.
Government Approval documents being lodged
The Company is advancing well to obtain several project-related approvals, with initial meetings and workshops conducted while document compilation is nearing completion.
In the first stage of the approval process, the first submission of the required proposals for the clearing of native vegetation for the waste dump and the new heap leach pads has been lodged. The management and consultants are preparing submissions for the subsequent approvals. All documents are expected to be lodged by the first quarter of 2022.
Refurbishment and accommodation
Refurbishment of the oxide crushing circuit and SX-EW plant has commenced. Currently the plant is being stripped down and assessed for refurbishment on an item-by-item basis.
Meanwhile, accommodation Camp refurbishment has begun with the eastern side of the camp undergoing a refurbishment process first. The western refurbishment will commence following the eastern refurbishment.
Management Appointments to bolster the team
CYM has strengthened its management team as it advances towards becoming a copper producer. The appointments made are focussed on gearing up the team for the transition from Restart Study to construction and ultimately to production at the Nifty Copper Project.
Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media, Data Source: CYM ASX update, dated 6 December 2021
An Overview of Project Timeline
The current progress on the project has been extremely good however the Company is currently foreseeing significant delays to progress due to labour issues, Government Approvals and the COVID imposed lockdowns, travel restrictions and vaccination mandates.
The current focus includes:
- Completing the Restart Study and Finance the Nifty Copper Project
- Completing and lodging documents for the required Government Approvals
It is now anticipated that construction of the major elements of the Nifty Restart will not commence prior to September 2022 while the copper production is expected to not occur until the second half of 2023.
The Company will however utilise the delay for further optimising both the mining of the resource and the metallurgy for the project. It would further bolster the robust economics of the Nifty Copper Project. The delay also allows CYM to complete outstanding work around our other projects, including Nanadie Well and Maroochydore project