ASX-listed Discovery Metals Limited (DML) on Tuesday reported that a bankable feasibility study (BFS) of its BOSETO copper project, in Botswana, has demonstrated the economic potential for the operations to continue beyond 15 years.
The BFS evaluated all aspects of the development of an openpit mine at BOSETO, which would produce and process three-million tonnes a year of copper/silver ore, over a five-year period.
The purpose of the BFS was to allow for the rapid development of the BOSETO site, with construction starting in the fourth quarter of this year, and commissioning of the concentrator set to start in the first quarter of 2012. The development plan, in turn, evaluated the longer-term mining potential at BOSETO and included the establishment of both an open-pit and underground mine to feed the three-million ton a year concentrator.
The development plan found that from mid-2014, around 1,5-million tonnes of ore could be delivered from the openpit operation, with a further 1,5-million tonnes from the underground operation.
"From the time we recognised its potential, we have focused on brining BOSETO from an exploration asset into a production mine as soon as prudently possible," said DML MD Brad Sampson on Tuesday. "The findings of the BFS and the development plan show attractive investment outcomes and now allow us to proceed to project financing and construction."
The project would cost an estimated $175-million to develop, and would be 60 percent debt funded and 40 percent equity financed. Sampson noted that the BFS also found that the project offered a net present value of $251-million over the five-year period, while this was increased to $375-million over the 15-year period.
The payback for both studies is less than two years, after production started.