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Havilah Resources seeks to enhance Mutooroo economics through new scoping study

The scoping study will investigate a higher throughput, initially copper-only option at the project near Broken Hill.

Field work at Mutooroo
Field work on the Mutooroo Copper-Cobalt Project near the South Australia-NSW border

Havilah Resources Ltd (ASX:HAV) has started a new scoping study to investigate initial development of the Mutooroo Copper-Cobalt project near Broken Hill as a higher throughput copper-only operation.

A stage I work program has been formulated as part of this process which is aimed at lowering project risk with a lower capital requirement while enhancing project economics.

A key part of this strategy is the identification of additional shallow copper-cobalt resources in the surrounding highly prospective Mutooroo Copper-Cobalt District, within trucking distance of the existing resource.

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Havilah’s CEO Walter Richards said: “The planned study will capitalise on the considerable opportunity at Mutooroo that is presented by combining our extensive existing knowledge of the deposit with the exciting potential for new finds in the surrounding Mutooroo Copper-Cobalt District.

“The staged approach to redefine and develop Mutooroo, initially as a copper only project, allows us to reduce project risk, enhance project economics with a realistic capex target, without eliminating the potential additional value from the recovery of cobalt.

“This approach to the scoping study accords with Havilah’s Copper Strategy – Enhanced by Cobalt.”

The stage I work program will include exploration and metallurgy.

Exploration program

Exploration will focus on defining additional shallow copper-cobalt resources within trucking distance that can be mined as open pits in order to support the planned higher ore processing throughput.

The generation of drill targets will be aided by a new 266 square kilometres detailed airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey, which is expected to begin in mid-April.

This is designed to cover the Mutooroo deposit and possible extensions both north and south and nearby parallel lode systems as well as existing known prospects at Scorpion and King Brown.

It will also cover newly defined copper-cobalt prospects from surface geochemical sampling in 2018 including Sidewinder and Copperhead, as well as the broader region, not previously surveyed.

Final data and outputs are expected to be available in mid-2019.

Follow-up drilling

A follow-up stage I reverse circulation drilling program is planned and will include first pass testing of AEM targets, including the high priority copper-cobalt Scorpion target.

3D view of Mutooroo sulphide resource envelopes.

Test work program

The new scoping study will utilise extensive metallurgical testing of the sulphide mineralisation undertaken between 2007 and 2017.

This work indicated that high recoveries of copper could be achieved using proven conventional flotation processing methods.

Havilah anticipates that further test work will be required for the study to determine the compatibility of any new sulphide resources with the existing flotation flowsheet.

This would be further validated and optimised in a pre-feasibility study (PFS).

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The company aims to complete the scoping study in the first quarter of 2020, with a PFS and permitting for the copper only project to be delivered in early 2021 after which a project investment decision can be made.

Subsequent stages

Later stages of the program will seek to realise the potential value of cobalt contained in the Mutooroo ore as well as investigate the viability and potential value of transitioning to an underground operation.

The Mutooroo Copper-Cobalt Project is 40 minutes’ drive west of Broken Hill and 16 kilometres south of the transcontinental railway line.

It is a lode-style massive sulphide copper-cobalt-gold deposit that contains a measured, indicated and inferred JORC resource of 13.1 million tonnes at 1.5% copper for a total contained 195,000 tonnes of copper, 8,400 tonnes of associated cobalt and 44,600 ounces of gold.

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