Nababeep, Northern Cape: South Africa’s sole listed copper producer, Copper 360 (AltX CPR), today announced a significant upgrade of its mineral resources at the company’s Rietberg mine.
The total resource of Contained Copper increased by 220% from 25 275 tons in 2022 to 81 200 tons with the maiden and indicated resource of 60 800 tonnes of copper declared. The total of indicated and measured resource declared is immediately accessible on 5 levels with mining expected to commence in the fourth quarter of this year. The company’s modular floatation plant is also scheduled to commission at the same time.
“This resource upgrade shows that the Rietberg Mine is a world class copper mine. The Resource is underpinned by closely spaced drillholes showing ore ready for mining on at least 5 levels that are open and accessible. It has exceeded all our expectations. We are also very pleased with the conversion of most of the inferred resource into the measured and indicated categories,” said Copper 360 chief executive Jan Nelson.
Copper 360 first announced drilling results at Rietberg in June 2023 with copper mineralization of over 150m wide by 200m in length, with a down-dip strike of over 400m and open to depth at in situ grades of between 2.5% and 3.5%.
The significance of the upgrade is substantial, said Nelson. He added: “It changes everything in terms of our growth. So, where we were thinking one plant, we now have to think about building another plant to potentially triple output. We must think about mining on multiple levels. What it means is that we are likely going to produce double the amount of copper we were planning to produce.”
“This is good news for the Northen Cape,” said Nelson. “There is the potential to create more jobs in an area that is presently challenged by large unemployment.” He added that beyond direct employment, the up and downstream potential of economic development and concomitant employment opportunities that it will create is equally promising.
Earlier this week Copper 360 announced that its School of Mining commenced with its debut course, and an intake of 30 students. The purpose, to develop skills in the Northern Cape aimed at gearing up for the expected mineral boom in the province as well as addressing the company’s own requirements for skillsets as it grows.
“There will be more job opportunities in the Northern Cape. Mining activity creates employment, and it allows people to earn a living and take care of their families. There will be greater prosperity for the country, and that is what we need as a nation.”
“Mine development is planned to commence in Q4 of this year and our floatation plant is on schedule to commission in November of this year with expenditure forecast to be 8% under planned budget,” said Nelson. “We have assembled an experienced technical and operational team and look forward to start the first pure copper mine production in the Northern Cape Copper Province in over 20 years. We are in the process of converting the measured and indicated resource to reserve and will advise the market in due course. We will also be stating a maiden resource for the Wheal Julia surface deposit within the next few weeks.”
Please note that for full technical information in terms of the SAMREC code, please refer to the SENS announcement.