The recent uplift in base metals prices has prompted Anglesey Mining plc (LON:AYM) to shift up a gear in developing its Parys Mountain project - aiming to complete a definitive feasibility study in the first half of next year.
Assuming financing talks are well advanced by the middle of next year, construction at the North Wales site could start before the end of 2018 and initial output in the first half of 2020, the firm said.
The recent rise in metals prices have given a boost to the project's fundamentals.
Since July's scoping study, all metals to be produced at the mine have risen, with copper now at US$3.10 per pound, compared to US$2.50 a pound two months ago.
Zinc has increased to US$1.40 per pound compared to US$1.25 per pound in the study and lead has moved to US$1.09 per pound compared to US$1.00, Anglesey said.
Using the July prices, on a base case the pre-tax net present value (NPV) is US$33.2mln, or £26.6mln and an indicated internal rate of return (IRR) of 28.3%.
But using the longer term metal price projections (US$1.35 for zinc and US$3 for copper) the NPV rises to $43.2mln, or £34.6mln and the IRR moves to 33%.
Moreover, the July study was based on only the 2.1mln tonnes of indicated resources reported in 2012.
Consultant Micon had also reported a further 4.1mln tonnes of inferred resources which were not incorporated in the scoping study .
Anglesey reckons a high proportion of these inferred tonnes will be converted into indicated probable reserves once exploration drilling from underground takes place.
These would be processed through the same plant and would significantly increase the projected 8 year life of the mine to 15 or 18 years and enhance the NPV.
Major steps in the short term then that Anglesey will now take at Parys include beginning an environmental impact assessment and converting the scoping study to a DFS.
It also aims to kick off talks with potential providers on project finance, including investment funds, metal traders, smelters and banks.
Beaufort Securities repeated a 'speculative buy' on the shares saying today's news was positive and set out a development timeline
Whilst more detailed work is required to complete the DFS which will provide the platform for project funding discussions, we continue to be encouraged with the initial economics and look forward to further updates as Anglesey executes its planned timetable for developmentm, it said.
Anglesey shares shot up almost 24% to 3.63p on Friday.