Mine set for challenge

Business, Normal

The National, Monday December 28th, 2015

 By Gedion Timothy Lapan 

THE lead explorer of the Frieda River copper-gold project in Sandaun Province, PanAust, says it is well positioned to face the pressure exerted by the current depressed metal prices.

The company stated in an email to The National it had achieved a competitive all-in sustaining cost of US$1.79 (K5.20 )per pound of copper and US$667 (K1941) per ounce of gold at its Laos-based operations. “This followed a business efficiency review in early 2015 which streamlined the business and positioned the company to meet the challenges associated with a weaker commodity price environment,” it said. 

“The Frieda River copper-gold project, which is made up of several deposits, is a world-class asset. Once in production, the operation has the potential to be the largest copper producer in PNG. The project concept to date has been based on an average processing rate of 30Mtpa over a 20-year mine life to produce average annual copper and gold in concentrate of 125,000t and 200,000oz respectively.”

It however said the ultimate size of the project and the production profile was subject to finalisation through the feasibility study process. 

PanAust said since acquiring its interest in the project in August 2014, it had invested around K149 million and was undertaking a significant amount of work to advance the study. 

“Our current focus is on completing the feasibility study and establishing a robust investment case to take the project through to construction and production,” the company said.