CradleArc Plc(LON:CRA) should be able to use Dense Media Separation (DMS) to boost production substantially at the Mowana copper mine in Botswana.
An independent test report from SGS South Africa confirmed its suitability and Cradle Arc now intends to go ahead and install a plant.
DMS is a pre-production process that concentrates the metals in ore and potentially will increase production at Mowana by more than 80% to approximately 22,000tpa of copper in concentrate.
Costs would also be lower, with the estimated value of the project forecast to rise to US$245mln from US$87mln through the use of DMS.
The test work demonstrated that pre-concentration can be deployed at Mowana on all low oxide ores, Cradle Arc said.
A new block model for the resource at Mowana is also being prepared, which will enable a new mining schedules that incorporate the DMS study results.
Kevin van Wouw, Cradle Arc’s chief executive, said: "Our expectation that DMS upgrades should be deployed at Mowana has been confirmed by SGS's report.
“We are confident that we can rapidly move the Mowana mine from operating at its current nameplate capacity capable of producing 12,000 tonnes Cu per annum to more than 20,000 tonnes Cu per annum.
This is expected to dramatically improve cash flows as well as the net present value, he added.
The initial phase of DMS preparatory work will be completed this quarter.