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46% uplift in copper resources for Caravel in WA

Copper explorer Caravel Minerals has laid out significant increases in mineral resource estimates for its namesake project in the Wheatbelt region of WA, providing a 52% uplift in contained copper metal to 1.28 million tonnes from the previous April 2016 numbers.

The updated resources build on the back of a substantial surge in exploration and development drilling at the project, particularly over the last year or so.

These campaigns have proved up major extensions at the key Bindi deposits and delineated higher-grade disseminated sulphide geological domains that exceed 1% copper and could provide alternate development options for the project.

Caravel’s drilling programs have now defined a global indicated and inferred resource totalling 366 million tonnes grading 0.35% copper, which is a 46% increase from that reported three years ago.

The new resources will underpin an updated scoping study for the project, which is due to be released in March.

This study will incorporate all recent work on open pit mining optimisation, metallurgical and ore processing findings and assist in updating the indicative capital and operating expenditure costs to potentially develop the project.

The sizeable resource base places the Caravel project well on the road to becoming Western Australia’s next large-scale, long-life, low-cost copper mining operation.

Caravel is currently completing RC drilling to test further resource extensions, with assay results expected later this month.

The updated mineral resource estimate for the Caravel project comprises the larger Bindi West, Bindi Hinge and Bindi East deposits and the satellite ore systems located at Dasher and Opie further to the south.

The company’s identification of the higher-grade mineralisation at the project could lead to mine scheduling that stages the extraction of this valuable ore up front, reducing CAPEX via a smaller processing plant, thereby enhancing the economics by receiving earlier cash flows and improving the project’s overall NPV.

Based on this, shareholders will be keenly anticipating the results of the upcoming scoping study results, which should start to ascertain the broader economics surrounding the potential development of Caravel’s large and intriguing project.

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