Altiplano gets creative amid low copper prices

Following a revision of its extraction plan, Canada's Altiplano Metals (TSXV: APN) tested the viability of continuing operations in the current environment of lower copper prices and obtained positive results.

In a media statement, the Edmonton-based miner explained that results from the latest 2,445 tonnes extracted in October from the historic Farellon copper-gold mine in Chile show considerable improvement through minimizing dilution and reducing costs.

In detail, the material extracted from the 401M and 395M levels yielded an average grade of 1.50% copper. These results show an improvement of 0.4% copper compared with previous averages during August-September. Thus, the company expects further improvement of grades.

"With the latest cost reductions, increased productivity, and higher recoveries achieved at the treatment plant, we are well positioned to benefit from potentially increased copper prices in the medium term," Altiplano's CEO John Williamson said in the media brief.

Williamson also said that to combat dilution, lower-grade shoulders are being left on the walls and only the higher-grade portions are being extracted. "As a result, copper recoveries during processing have increased to 94.9%," the CEO added.

Altiplano plans to run this grade-controlled mineral extraction process until January 2019. "The intention is to test operational capability to extract copper-gold material during a lower price environment and further refine costs structures," the press release reads.

TheĀ Farellon copper-gold mine is located some 40 kilometres of the northwestern town of La Serena. Its deposits are spatially associated with the Atacama Fault system, the most important structure of Chile's Coastal Cordillera.