SOUTH Australian-focussed miner Rex Minerals is celebrating the announcement of a maiden ore reserve at its Hillside copper project, which has surpassed Prominent Hill as the largest copper open pit ore reserve in Australia.
The Hillside maiden ore reserve totalled 120 million tonnes at 0.53 per cent copper, 0.14 grams per tonne of gold and 12.8 per cent iron for contained metal of 636,000t of copper, 540,000 ounces of gold and 14.5mt of iron ore.
The ore reserve was completed on the back of Rex’s recent pre-feasibility study announcement in October 2012, and could support a 15-year mine plan at a production rate of 70,000 tonnes of copper per annum.
Rex managing director Mark Parry said that with ongoing exploration and metallurgical test work the ore reserve was expected to be even greater by late 2013, which prompted the need for a bankable feasibility study (BFS).
“Pending further reserve upgrade by the end of 2013, Hillside is expected to host Australia’s largest copper reserves (after Olympic Dam) with over 10 years of mine life in reserves and over 15 years in production
within the life of mine plan,” he said. “With Hillside’s maiden ore reserve complete, Rex will now shift its focus to the Hillside BFS which we anticipate to be finalised in the second half of 2013. “Additionally, as part of the BFS in 2103, Rex will deliver an upgraded ore reserve to complement the already substantial resource base.”