Los Andes Copper Ltd (CVE:LA) (OTCMKTS:LSANF) (FRA:L41A) has welcomed the final results of metallurgical testing on ore from its Vizcachitas porphyry project in Chile, which confirmed that a future mine could produce “clean and high-quality” copper concentrate.
The work was part of the ongoing pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the asset, which is set to become the South American country’s next copper mine, and showed copper recovery of 91.4% and that a high-quality clean copper concentrate at 24.5% could be generated.
READ: Los Andes Copper hails improved recoveries of copper and moly using updated flotation method for Chile project
“This testwork validates the flotation performance when the operating parameters are applied to the more complex areas of the mine,” noted Los Andes’ executive chairman Fernando Porcile in a statement.
“These results are encouraging and give us confidence as we continue to progress the development of the project, focusing on delivering sustainable mining, including a reduction in both its water and energy consumption.”
Samples from the project were selected to best represent the composition of the geological features that would be mined over the first 12 years of the mine plan.
This is also the period in which the most complex mineralogy and alteration would be exploited, and thus present the toughest conditions for the flotation circuit.
The Vizcachitas deposit sits in a huge land package, spanning 308 square kilometres (sq km), of which only a small portion has so far been explored, and is currently at PFS.
A positive 2019 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) assumed an overall life of mine copper recovery of 91.0% and using a copper price of US$3.50 a pound, the after-tax net present value (NPV) was pegged at US$2.7 billion, while the internal rate of return (IRR) was 26.7%.
Initial capex was put at US$1.88 billion for a project with 3.4 year pay-back time and a mine life of 45 years.
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