Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed Discovery Metals Limited (DML) has reported that a scoping study at its Boseto copper project, in Botswana, has confirmed the economic viability of underground operations at the Zeta mineral resource.
"The positive results of this study are very encouraging. The study shows that a Zeta underground mine has the potential to add significant value to shareholders through increased operational flexibility and optionality in relation to the copper price, production volumes and extensions to mine life," said DML managing director Brad Sampson in a statement.
In addition, the scoping study has shown that the mine has a "very low" incremental development capital cost with attendant scope for rapid payback, Sampson added.
"We envisage that the Zeta underground proposal will improve in the future because at this stage the scoping study manager has used conservative estimates throughout. We will refine the grade and cost information as we proceed further with underground studies at Zeta and other areas at Boseto." A pre-feasibility study for the Zeta underground project has started, and is scheduled for completion during September this year.
The study will examine scenarios, which involve integration with the opencast mining operations currently employed at the Boseto project.
The underground mine scoping study has progressed in parallel with the Boseto copper project bankable feasibility study (BFS). The completion and start of the progressive release of the results of this BFS were imminent.
The BFS is appropriately based on starting production at Boseto solely through opencast mining with the vast majority of exploration, engineering and expenditure on Boseto to date undertaken to support the opencast project.
A substantial quantity of mineralisation is expected to be available to these mining methods over the 1, 300km strike of prospective ground in DML's prospecting licences in Northwest Botswana.