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Tethyan increases Pakistani resource

PAKISTAN-FOCUSED local explorer Tethyan Copper Company has increased its estimated resource base by 29 per cent at its H4 copper project in Pakistan, lifting the contained copper metal content to 1.1 million tonnes. The new resource estimate – prepared by independent consultants Snowden Mining Industry Consultants – is based on the results of drilling at the H4 project completed late last year. The new H4 resource, when added to the previously announced Western Porphyries resource, brings the total indicated and inferred resources at Tethyan’s Reko Diq copper project to 943 million tonnes at 0.64 per cent copper and 0.3 grams per tonne of gold, containing 6 million tonnes of copper metal and 9 million ounces of gold. The company also confirmed that it was on track for completion of its bankable feasibility study on the H4 project early in the December quarter this year, with detailed planning already under way on the development phase, and with a provisional time-frame providing for first production in 2007. The H4 ‘starter’ project has been scoped as a 42,000 tonne-per-annum open pit operation, which is planned as the prelude to the development of the broader Reko Diq Complex, including the Western Porphyries copper-gold project. The new H4 project resource estimate adds nearly 260,000 tonnes of copper metal to the previous resource estimate, using the same cut-off grade. Tethyan is engaged in an alliance agreement with BHP Billiton, which gives it exploration and development rights at Reko Diq.

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