The reserve estimate is derived from an openpit mine design and plan which contemplates processing throughput of up to 60 million tonnes per year through a conventional flotation circuit with a mine life of about 32 years.
The updated measured and indicated mineral resource is 2.2 billion tonnes grading 0.43% copper for 9.5Mt of contained copper, 264,500t of molybdenum and 6 million ounces of gold. The proven and probable reserve has been estimated at 1.8Bt grading 0.44% copper for 7.7Mt of contained copper, 213,500 of molybdenum and 5.1Moz of gold.
A decision to proceed with the construction of Taca Taca is not expected until sometime in 2023 or 2024. Until then, the company remains focused on paying down debt and strengthening its balance sheet.
First Quantum estimates annual recovered copper would peak at about 275,000 tonnes within the first 10 years of operations, with a design based on process plants First Quantum has constructed and operated at its Sentinel and Cobre Panama operations.
First Quantum said it would have full regard for the project's decarbonisation, environmental and social impact prior to the development of Taca Taca, including the evaluation of energy sources which are more environmentally friendly, including potentially 100% renewables or a combination of renewables and natural gas.
Shares in First Quantum Mining are trading at C$18.26, valuing the company at $12.4 billion.