Havilah Resources (ASX: HAV) has announced a maiden ore reserve for its Kalkaroo project in South Australia, confirming the project as the largest undeveloped open pit copper-gold deposit in the country.
The copper and cobalt-focused explorer today released an ore reserve for Kalkaroo of 474,000 tonnes of contained copper and 1.41 million ounces of gold.
On a copper-equivalent ore reserve basis, this estimate has ranked the project as number one in Australia-based undeveloped open pit copper deposits, and second in size only to the Productora deposit in Chile amongst the ASX’s copper players.
The Kalkaroo project has been estimated to contain a 23,200t cobalt resource, announced in March 2018, which also makes it the largest sulphide cobalt deposit underpinned by copper in Australia.
Havilah noted that the just-announced ore reserve, which was independently estimated by RPM Global Asia as part of a Kalkaroo preliminary pre-feasibility study, does not take into account cobalt at this stage. This is partially due to the cobalt resource being released after the cut-off date for inclusion in the first phase of the study.
The method proposed in the pre-feasibility study is conventional open cut mining with bulk movement of mined material. The major fleet requirements were assumed to be up to two 350t excavators primarily for waste stripping and a single 250t backhoe excavator dedicated to ore mining.
A revised pre-feasibility scope is currently being worked on, with additional work focusing on incorporating cobalt resources and pyrite tails into the economic model and improving metal recoveries.
Havilah chief executive officer Walter Richards regarded Kalkaroo as a robust copper-gold-cobalt project with a value multiple times higher than the company’s current market capitalisation of A$45.83 million.
“The large ore reserve estimate highlights Kalkaroo as a stand-out amongst the very few open pit copper development opportunities presently available in Australia,” he said.
Havilah has also highlighted Kalkaroo’s high potential for discovery of additional resources, given that the deposit is not closed off on any drill section either along strike or down dip.
According to the company, three separate nearby prospects could also potentially add ore feed if converted to resources by further drilling.
In May, Havilah unveiled its “Copper Strategy – Enhanced by Cobalt” presentation, which highlighted the appreciable cobalt resources occurring in all of the company’s sulphide copper projects.
In line with this new focus, the company sold its Portia and Portia North gold projects in South Australia to Broken Hill-based Consolidated Mining and Civil under an agreed A$14.7 million deal.
Havilah’s share price had increased by 21.43% to A$0.255 on the ore reserve announcement by late afternoon trade.