Cyprium Metals Limited (ASX:CYM) has made significant progress towards establishing itself as an Australian copper producer at its Nifty Copper Project in Western Australia.
Managing Director, Barry Cahill, said drilling programmes continue to upgrade mineral resource confidence, close the gaps in resource and to target extensional areas of the mineralised formation.
Currently the Phase 2 reverse circulation (RC) drilling programme is being completed in the South East of the Nifty open pit.
There are now approaching 4,000 samples from this programme that have not had assays returned. Further to this, there remain over 8,000 samples for which assays have not been returned from the +16,000 metre South West drilling programme that was completed in November.
The RC drilling continues to intersect ore grade intervals and following receipt of assays, will be included in the mineral resource model for the design and scheduling of the planned Nifty open pit.
Once all of the assays have been received, a follow up Phase 2 drilling programme will be planned in the South West of the Nifty open pit and a follow up Phase 3 drilling programme in the South East of the Nifty open pit will be planned.
This is very positive for the Nifty Copper Project as there are further copper tonnes to be added to the project copper inventory but also potentially delays final mine designs and schedule progress.
The Cyprium team continues to kick goals on its way to producing copper metal plate at Nifty. Drilling success continues, design process is proceeding, and we have commenced refurbishment of the project,” Mr Cahill said.
“Despite our best efforts and the exceptional progress that we have made in eight months, there are pressures being felt throughout the mining industry.
“These additional pressures are primarily due to labour shortages, increasing costs, COVID related impacts and long timelines that have impacted on our original projections.
“These same factors are also impacting on processing times for regulatory approvals. Consequently, we have been forced to reschedule our forecast project timelines, with the commencement of new construction activities now expected in September 2022, following regulatory approvals.
“Copper metal production at Nifty will now commence by the second half of 2023. As usual for our team, we will aim to commence copper production at the earliest opportunity.”
Design and scheduling of the open pit continues based on the recently released Nifty Mineral Resource.
These designs will be sufficient to be included in the Restart Study and for the Finance process but will not be final until the resource is re-estimated during the first quarter of 2022 at the earliest.
Engineering design of the SX-EW plant and heap leach pads is nearing completion. The new heap leach pads construction and design detail is required for the Works Approval submission so that construction activities can commence.
Concurrent with the design process, tenders are being issued for the purchase and supply of long lead items. Metallurgy check column test work continues. Four columns have been undertaken, including the fourth column which is a 6-metre column to match operating conditions. Results have been as expected and optimisation of reagent consumptions continues. When this round of work has been completed, a number of follow up tests will be conducted to further optimise the operating parameters.
Reporting to the market on these results will be done once the test work has been completed on the residues and the reports compiled. There will also be follow up tests undertaken on core and sonic drill samples. In addition, there are 550 sonic samples yet to be assayed that have been obtained from around the site to test for the location of stockpiled oxide material.