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Xstrata approves Frieda funding

Publishing Date
26 Nov 2010 12:11pm GMT
Mining Journal

Xstrata has approved a US$122 million commitment to carry out a feasibility study at the Frieda copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea.

The Swiss-based miner is required to deliver the feasibility study by January 2012 to maintain an 81.8% interest and management rights to the project. The remainder of the project is held by Australia’s Highlands Pacific Ltd.

A pre-feasibility study was recently completed at the site and showed a project with output averaging 246,000t/y of copper and 379,000oz/y of gold in the first eight years of a multi-decade life mine.

Highlands said this would potentially place Frieda in the top 15 of the world’s current copper mines and amongst the lowest in operating costs due to its low waste to ore strip ratio.

Frieda has resources of 8.1Mt of contained copper and 13.3Moz of contained gold. An updated resource estimate will be released next month.

The joint venture partners are aiming for production in 2017 after four years of construction.

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