PanAust moves forward with Phonsavan

COPPER-gold producer PanAust has released the scope of its pre-feasibility study for the KTL deposit within the Phonsavan project in Laos on the back of further drilling hits, with first production tipped for 2015.
PanAust moves forward with Phonsavan PanAust moves forward with Phonsavan PanAust moves forward with Phonsavan PanAust moves forward with Phonsavan PanAust moves forward with Phonsavan

PanAust revealed the capital cost for developing the Phonsavan copper-gold project would sit between $US200 million ($A190 million) to $300 million.

This estimate was based on PanAust's experience in developing operations in Laos and the company said this cost was competitive when compared to industry norms.

PanAust began a pre-feasibility study for the Phonsavan project during the June quarter this year with completion scheduled for the corresponding period next year.

The scope of the study is for the development of an open pit mining operation feeding ore to a conventional milling and flotation process plant.

Annual processing capacity at the plant is anticipated to be between six and seven million tonnes with output of approximately 25,000 tonnes per annum copper and 20,000 ounces per annum gold in concentrate over a ten year mine life.

PanAust said the higher grade zone at the deposit might provide an opportunity for increased metal production rates during the early part of the mine schedule.

The Phonsavan project is focused on the KTL deposit which lies 6km from the town of Phonsavan in the northern part of PanAust's contract area in Laos.

Subject to continued success with the KTL drilling and evaluations a full feasibility study is expected to be completed in the second half of 2013.

If the feasibility study proves successful, then following a two-year construction phase, commissioning and production is expected to commence in late 2015.

In the latest round of drilling at KTL, the results confirmed a high-grade zone within the resource envelope at Phonsavan.

Significant hits included 36m at 0.95% copper, 0.18 grams per tonne gold and 18.9gpt silver, 14m at 1.31% copper from 34m, 1.24gpt gold and 11.9gpt silver from 12m, 10m at 1.23% copper, 0.82gpt gold and 7.7gpt silver from 118m, and 16m at 1.08% copper, 0.47gpt gold and 7.9gpt silver from 140m.

The drill program is part of the pre-feasibility study program aimed at infilling and extending the mineral resource at KTL and additionally defining an initial resource at the nearby Tharkhek deposit.

KTL contains an estimated indicated and inferred mineral resource of 89Mt grading 0.44% copper, 0.18gpt gold and 1.7gpt silver.

The recent drilling results will be incorporated into an updated geological resource model which is due for completion during the March quarter of next year.

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