The revised resource at a 0.4% copper cut-off contains 590,000 tonnes of copper, an increase of 44% on the previous estimate, and 27 million ounces of silver.
Nearly half of the revised total resource is now classified in the higher confidence indicated mineral resource category.
The revision appears to support and potentially exceeds the expansion case open pit model reported in January’s pre-feasibility study.
Potential to extend base case production and mine life
Managing director Julian Hanna said the revised resource had far exceeded expectations and MOD’s project development team was reviewing how the expanded resource could impact the T3 project.
“As a minimum, this upgrade would appear to support the compelling expansion case pit model announced in the pre-feasibility study.
“This was based on average annual production of 28,000 tonnes of copper over a 12-year mine life.
“We are very encouraged by the new resource and believe there is potential that production and mine life could be extended beyond the expansion case.”
Hanna said: “The new 60 million tonne resource also provides further confidence in the potential for significant discoveries that may exist in similar ‘buried domes’ within the T3 dome complex where a major drilling campaign is underway.”
The project’s feasibility study remains on-track for completion at the end of the first quarter of 2019.
The PFS base case suggested an EBITDA of around $960 million over 9 years and the expansion case indicated potential for generating $1.45 billion over 12 years.
Drilling is continued in a bid to extend high-grade underground potential outside the planned T3 pit.
JV with Metal Tiger
The T3 project forms part of a joint venture with AIM-listed Metal Tiger plc (LON:MTR) and is within a holding of licences operated by in-country subsidiary Tshukudu Metals Botswana in Botswana’s central Kalahari Copper Belt.
MOD owns a 70% stake in the JV with Metal Tiger holding the remaining 30%.
The upgraded resource follows completion of a 90-hole program of infill and extensional diamond core drilling around the T3 planned pit.
Holes were also drill tested for potential underground extensions outside the planned pit.
Increase in copper grades
There has been a significant increase in copper grades at higher cut-off grades, compared with the previous resource estimate.
MOD believes the highly favourable geometry is one of many reasons why T3 represents such a compelling project for open pit mining.