Caravel holds the aces with WA copper project as grades decline around the world
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Special Report: The amount and grade of copper at Caravel Minerals’ (ASX:CVV) WA copper project will hold the company in good stead as grades decline across the globe.
The eponymous copper project, which late last month was given a resource update boosting the indicated and inferred resource to 372 million tonnes at 0.35 per cent for 1.3 million tonnes of contained copper, is the largest undeveloped copper resource in WA.
And with a recent report suggesting mined copper ore grades have been declining around the world, it is a significant jewel in the crown for Caravel, forming part of an opportunity to reinvigorate WAs wheatbelt.
The average grade of copper ore mined worldwide has been on a steady decline, falling at a 1.8 per cent CAGR in the past 12 years, finds a report from AME Research.
Caravel’s project compares favourably with projects in North America, which had 2016 average grades of ore mined of 0.33 per cent.
Caravel’s 0.35 per cent resource grade also puts it among similar types of producing Canadian copper mines, and only just behind Mexico mines at 0.36 per cent copper.
Also, in favour for Caravel is the sheer size of the porphyry deposit, at 1.3 million tonnes of contained copper at an enviable location close to existing infrastructure and only 150km from Perth.
Porphyry deposits are copper deposits hosted in granite rock and are the most important type of large copper deposits.
Caravel’s was the first discovery of porphyry copper in the region, with the only comparable deposit being the well-known Boddington gold mine, a gold rich style of porphyry deposit close to Perth, which has been producing for a decade now and is one of Australia’s largest producing gold mines with copper as secondary product.
The company is now conducting pre‐feasibility studies including new resource modelling, metallurgical test work, engineering, infrastructure, groundwater, social and environmental studies.
It has also progressed stakeholder engagement ahead of detailed feasibility studies and has $1.3 million in the bank.