Copper explorer Caravel Minerals (ASX: CVV) has announced a 53% increase to the mineral resource estimate at its namesake copper project in Western Australia following recent drilling at the Bindi deposit.
The revised resource totals 1.18 billion tonnes at 0.24% copper and 48 parts per million molybdenum for 2.48 million tonnes of contained copper (at a 0.1% cut-off grade).
This estimate now makes Caravel the largest undeveloped copper project in Australia based on contained copper comparisons, surpassing OZ Minerals’ (ASX: OZL) West Musgrave project.
100Mt at Bindi defined as measured resource
This updated assessment is almost 1Mt greater than the 2019 resource which estimated 1.86Mt of contained copper.
Since then, a total of 7,740 metres of diamond drilling and 20,233m of reverse circulation percussion drilling has been completed at Bindi, predominantly on the Bindi East Limb.
This recent drilling significantly extended the resource at depth and improved the continuity of mineralisation, particularly within a number of higher-grade zones within the East Limb and Hinge Zone areas – areas that are expected to be developed first in the mine plan.
In addition, more than 100Mt at Bindi has been defined as measured resource and is expected to be converted to reserves in the Caravel project’s prefeasibility study (PFS).
“At the higher cut-off grades that will be used in the early mine plan, this is expected to include sufficient ores to cover the first five years of mining, providing high confidence in the mine schedule,” the company reported.
While contained copper within the existing resource envelope increased significantly due to improved definition of the higher-grade zones at Bindi, the overall resource grade has remained unchanged due to the larger areas at lower grades that surround the higher-grade zone and fall within the resource pit shell.
PFS on track for delivery early next year
In today’s update, Caravel Mining said its PFS is “progressing well” and remains on track for delivery in the 2022 first quarter.
“Mine planning and scheduling activities are now underway using the new resource model and will be incorporated in the PFS,” it reported.