By KEVIN PAMBA
JUNIOR Australian miner, Marengo Mining Ltd, has delivered an upbeat update of its Yandera project in Madang province as a goer at two international mining meets in London and Hong Kong in the past fortnight.
Managing director and CEO, Les Emery, told the 66th Minesite Mining Forum and the Mines and Money Forum that with the backing of reputable international financiers and the definitive feasibility study (DFS) expected to be completed on schedule in December, the proposed mine is on track to meet construction, commissioning and production dates.
The results of the DFS is the final yardstick that the developer and its backers would use to determine the future of the project that would cost US$1.6 billion (K4.8 billion) to develop and operate during its initial 10-year lifespan.
Mr Emery told the forums that the DFS, which started in 2007, was making “excellent progress with positive interim outcomes” and is expected to be completed on schedule.
He said the DFS for the proposed “world-scale” copper, molybdenum and gold mine in Usino-Bundi district would pave the way for project financing and permitting process to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
Mr Emery reported to the forum that the Yandera project is “backed by major strategic shareholders including George Soros’ Quantum Partners and The Sentient Group”.
According to the Marengo website, the definitive feasibility study is based on:
* An open-cut mining operation over an initial 10-year time frame, with an initial focus on the higher grade zones of the deposit;
* Ore processing commencing at 25mtpa with capacity for increased throughput;
* Crush and grind near mine with ore slurry line to a coastal concentrator, producing separate copper and molybdenum sulphide concentrates;
* Detailed investigation of local rivers for the generation of clean, low cost hydroelectric power supply; and
* Implementation of world class environmental standards and community relations initiatives to ensure a successful project for all stakeholders.
Mr Emery told the international guests that if all goes according to plan, design and construction phase of the project would begin in the first quarter of next year and this would be completed in the first quarter of 2013.
The commissioning of the actual mining would follow soon after.
The Yandera Central porphyry deposit contains 4,900mlbs of copper, 176mlbs of molybdenum plus gold, silver and rhenium.