Canadian miner First Quantum has declared a reserve estimate for its Taca Taca copper/molybdenum/gold project, in Salta, Argentina.
The proven and probable mineral reserve has been estimated at 1.75-billion tonnes of ore, grading 0.44% copper for 7.7-million tonnes of contained copper, 213 500 t of molybdenum and 5.08-million ounces of gold.
The updated measured and indicated mineral resource is 2.20-billion tonnes of ore, grading 0.43% copper for 9.45-million tonnes of contained copper, 264 500 t of molybdenum and 6.05-million ounces of gold.
The estimate is derived from an openpit mine design and plan which contemplates processing throughput of up to 60-million tonnes a year through a conventional flotation circuit with a mine life of about 32 years. The recovered copper reaches a peak of approximately 275 000 t within the first ten years of operations.
The design, First Quantum said, was based on the process plants which the company had successfully constructed and operated at its Sentinel and Cobre Panama operations.
The company would only reach a point where it would decide to proceed with the construction of Taca Taca sometime in 2023 or 2024.