The Caravel project’s position it as one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits has been cemented by the definition of a maiden Ore Reserve of 1.36Mt of contained metal.

Caravel Minerals’ (ASX:CVV) proven and probable ore reserve of 552.8Mt grading 0.25% copper at a 0.1% copper cut-off forms part of the project’s Pre-Feasibility Study and is large enough to support a minimum mine life of 28 years.

This is based on the Scoping Study assumption that the copper processing facility will initially process 12 million tonnes per annum of ore before expanding to 24Mtpa in Year 6 to produce 35,000tpa of copper in the first five years and 55,000tpa of copper from the sixth year.

Equally importantly, the mine plan supporting the ore reserve is based on open pit mining with a low average strip ratio of 1.09:1, which translates to lower costs as the company need only dig out a minimal amount of waste material to get to the valuable copper ore.

There is also significant potential for growth given that there are significant – albeit currently lower confidence – Inferred resources at Bindi West below the Ore Reserve.

Inferred resources at the Bindi deposit were last estimated at about 129.1Mt grading 0.34% copper for 434,600t of contained metal and could be converted into Ore Reserves through further work.


caravel minerals bindi copper pit design
Ore Reserve pit designs and Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource zones at the Bindi Deposit. Pic: Supplied


Open pit mining

Caravel has adopted open pit mining as the preferred method of mining for its namesake project located just 150km northeast of Perth, Western Australia.

This will use an owner-operator mining operation based on an autonomous haulage fleet utilising electric power where possible for loading, haulage and drilling operations.

Using electrification, communication and autonomy (ACE) is expected to improve safety, reduce costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The company plans to sequence and develop the Bindi deposit in four stages and the Dasher deposit in three stages in order to mine and process higher grade ore early in the mine schedule.

This will allow ore feeds to the mill of 0.32% during the first five years of the project, which will balances the amount of waste stripping in the early years whilst maintaining both a continuous supply of ore at the desired rates and an acceptable vertical rate of advance for each stage.

Drilling has also continued to confirm extensions to the Bindi and Dasher deposits, which could deliver further Resource and Ore Reserve upgrades in the future.

This article was developed in collaboration with Caravel Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing. 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.