Our Project is a greenfields copper-gold project located in the West Sepik (Sandaun) and East Sepik provinces in Papua New Guinea. The site of the proposed mine is approximately 200 kilometres from the coast and 70 km from the navigable Sepik River.
The Project is a joint venture between Xstrata Frieda River Limited (wholly owned by Xstrata Copper) (81.82%) and Highlands Frieda Limited (wholly owned by Highlands Pacific) (18.18%).
Our Project makes a significant contribution to the communities in which we operate by providing jobs, skills and training; paying taxes and royalties; buying goods and services from local businesses; and supporting community development programs. In this way, we play an important role in improving local health, education, employment and living standards, and we work with local governments, communities and other stakeholders to share these benefits in a sustainable manner.
Xstrata Copper exercised its option and took equity in, and management of, the Project in January 2007. Since then we have completed a Scoping Study and Pre-Feasibility Study, and we delivered a Feasibility Study and 2012 Study Program Report in December 2012.
Two significant mineral resources have been defined by the exploration work undertaken at the Project to date:
- A copper porphyry deposit at Horse-Ivaal-Trukai (HIT) with 2,090 million tonnes at 0.45% copper and 0.22 grams per tonne gold, using a 0.2% copper cut off.
- A high sulphidation epithermal deposit at Nena with 51 million tonnes at 2.43% copper and 0.57 grams per tonne gold, using a 0.5% copper cut off.
Exploration drilling in the Project area has been undertaken since 1969. Between 1969 and the end of 2011, drilling was undertaken on the HIT and Nena deposits, as well as the nearby Koki and Ekwai deposits. Our resource announcements are available here
The Project would potentially comprise:
- Open pit mining of the HIT deposit
- Ore processed at approximately 50Mtpa for 20 years and up to 65Mtpa during the first five years of operations
- Average annual production of 304ktpa copper and 451kozpa gold over the first five years, while averaging 204ktpa of copper and 305kozpa of gold over the life-of-mine
- Concentrate piped 127km to a river port at Kubkain, where it would be thickened and filtered
- River barges transport concentrate down the Sepik River to a silo ship moored at Hansa Bay, Madang Province
- Waste rock crushed and conveyed to the Ok Binai valley for storage. Tailings would be co-disposed in the same facility. Containment structures would be built across the Ok Binai Valley and the crests raised as mining progressed
- Power generation at a gas-powered plant based in the Stanley gas field, and fed to the Project site via a 180km transmission line, and
- Access roads connecting the operation with the river port and an airport near Kubkain on the Sepik River.