Cupric Canyon Capital states that the project funding package will be used for construction of the 3.6 Mpta starter project at Khoemacau, processing ore from the 91 million tonne resource1 at a head grade of 2.02% copper and 21.4g/t silver copper.
The direct construction cost of the starter project is US$397 million over a two-year construction timeline. First copper concentrate production is expected in the first half of 2021, with initial annual production averaging 62,000 tonnes copper and 1.9 million ounces of silver.
Cupric Canyon Capital has been developing the Khoemacau Project, a 4,040 square kilometre land package in north-west Botswana, over the past six years. One of the numerous deposits within the Khoemacau Project, Zone 5, was initially discovered in 2012 and has since become the flagship deposit since it was acquired by the company in 2013.
Since then, Cupric Canyon Capital has drilled 285,000 m, completed permitting and land access agreements, secured the required power and water, and undertaken advanced engineering, procurement and mobilisation such that it is ready for full construction of the starter project.
The starter project development plan now involves the fully mechanised underground mining of sulphide ores at Zone 5 at a rate of 3.6 million tonnes per annum using the upgraded Boseto processing facility for crushing, milling, flotation and production of a high-grade copper silver concentrate.
The starter project is expected to produce a copper concentrate with an average grade of approximately 40% copper and high-grade silver. This results in annual average production of 62,000 tonnes copper and 1.9 million ounces silver per annum over a 21-year mine life.
Johan Ferreira, CEO of Cupric Canyon Capital, commented: “Securing the project funding package by partnering with two of the industry’s leading global providers of mine finance, Royal Gold and Red Kite, allows us to move forward energetically with all project development activities.
“This step marks the completion of a remarkable evolution of the company from discovery of Zone 5 in 2012 to full construction of a high-quality copper asset in 2019. Being able to commence the development of a large scale fully mechanised mine and deliver high-quality jobs and sustainable development in the Kalahari Copper Belt reflects, not only the quality of the mining environment in Botswana, but also the strong support of government towards foreign investment and new mine development,” he concluded.