Specialist mineral sands engineers, Mineral Technologies (Downer), notified that the study has been completed into the potential mining and production of zirconium and titanium rich mineral sands at Copi.
Broken Hill is in possession of a draft report, which the company, its consultants and joint venture partner, Relentless Resources, are currently reviewing prior to sign-off.
Regional infrastructure and mine support services, which have developed over more than 120 years of mining in the Broken Hill district, would assist to progress a cost effective mine development.
BPL announced a mineral resource in mid 2015 of 11.6 million tonnes at 6.9% Heavy Minerals at its Copi North Deposit.
The high average grade of the deposit is about twice the head-grade of nearby operating mines.
BPL has built a valuable assemblage of mineral sands following a maiden resource of 15 million tonnes at 3.7% heavy minerals defined for its Magic Heavy Mineral Sands Deposit in New South Wales.
Both projects are located close to existing infrastructure and Cristal Mining's Ginkgo and Snapper operating mines.
A positive scoping study could see mining of small tonnage mines with low capital and operating costs, ideal for the current climate and a minimal environmental footprint.
Project mine life could be increased by relocating mobile plant and equipment to Magic or other deposits after any future mining is completed at Copi North.
The evaluation is fully financed by the private mining investment group Relentless Resources Limited which is providing $2 million of funding through a Joint Venture to earn a 50% interest in the two tenements.
Promisingly, the size, shallow depth and high grades of the Copi North mineralisation as well as nearby deposits (e.g. Magic, Copi South) could be mined sequentially or in parallel.
Drill results from the Copi North HM deposit are considered to contain very high grade heavy mineral assemblages. The data includes numerous drilled intervals between 1-4 metres thick which grade >20% HM and many intervals with more than 10% HM content.
Both the Copi North and Magic deposits are at advanced exploration status and have been the subject of significant past exploration activities.
A positive scoping study could entail lower tonnage throughput which would assist to minimise costs through advantages of small and modular mobile mining equipment and plant.
Pre-feasibility studies could then flow thereafter including preliminary environmental and commercial studies which could be completed in 2016.
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