Junior copper explorer Caravel Minerals has had a good result from recent test work at its Calingiri project in Western Australia.

Calingiri is a copper, molybdenum and gold play in the heart of the Wheatbelt district 120km north-west of Perth.

Caravel (ASX:CVV) has identified increased copper grades and believes it can significantly improve the project’s economics through lower project and production costs.

Bulk ore sorting test work showed an 86 per cent increase in the copper plant feed grade, and increased molybdenum and silver feed grades produced a higher copper-equivalent feed grade.

The processing of considerably higher feed grade “offers clear potential to reduce final unit operating cash costs”, Caravel told investors.

Caravel Minerals shares over the past year. (ASX:CVV)
Caravel Minerals shares over the past year. (ASX:CVV)

The company has also determined it can significantly reduce its pre-production capital cost as a result of a lower throughput of 6.6 million tonnes per annum instead of 15 million tonnes per annum.

The processing capital component in the previous Calingiri scoping study was $250 million, or 57 per cent of the total pre-production capital cost estimate of $440 million.

“In short, the potential to significantly reduce Calingiri project capex, lower cash costs and improve forecast project economics via ore sorting has been resoundingly confirmed,” chief executive Marcel Hilmer said.

Caravel expects to deliver an updated scoping study later this year.