Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) edged up 0.4pc to 3p today after reporting a 13pc rise in indicated contained copper at a site on its 30pc-owned joint venture with MOD Resources in Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt.
A re-classified mineral resource estimate found that the JV’s T3 Prospect now contains 417Kt copper and 18.6Moz silver (0.4pc cut-off) in the indicated resource category. The total mineral resource estimate for the site remains 60Mt at 0.98pc copper and 14g/t silver for a contained 560Kt copper and 27Moz silver. Meanwhile, Metal Tiger reported that drilling to extend underground potential outside of a planned pit at T3 is ongoing.
The JV partners recently completed a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on T3’s open pit, which has a mineral reserve of 21.4Mt containing around 218kt of copper. They will now carry out a detailed feasibility study, which is expected to complete early next year alongside the necessary environmental approvals. The firms then hope to carry out the design and construction of T3 in 2019 before production begins in 2020
Michael McNeilly, chief executive officer at Metal Tiger, said: ‘Following on from the T3 Mineral Resource Estimate update announced on 2 July, we are delighted to report that a Resource re-classification review has resulted in a substantial increase of contained copper in the, higher confidence, Indicated category.
‘The project’s technical team consider that the Resource upgrade may well support an increase in the design throughput of the planned T3 processing plant, and that there is now the potential that the Feasibility Study Ore Reserve could significantly exceed the Ore Reserve used in the PFS.’
When ValueTheMarkets.com interviewed McNeilly in May, he said he was confident about T3going forward: ‘After the feasibility study, a decision is taken on whether to develop further. It seems clear to me, given the numbers, that this will be a mine- subject to suitable financing. Everything indicates that this should be pushed forward towards being developed- it should produce a very clean concentrate that should be in high demand.’
The open pit is planned to be a ‘starter mine’ on the road to establishing Metal Tiger and MOD’s JV as an operator in Botswana, with both businesses keen on the country as an operating jurisdiction. They are looking at increasing processing capacity at the open pit to 4Mtpa. They are also using infill drilling to upgrade some of the ore body’s 25.6Mt inferred resource to measured and indicated. Beyond this, the firms are carrying out resource drilling to assess the potential for an underground mine and are also looking at deeper and broader drilling around the T3 open pit. The JV has also located widespread copper and zinc soil anomalies at JV licences T4 and the T20 dome.
Author: Daniel Flynn
Disclosure: The author does not own shares in the companies mentioned above.