Xstrata Copper (LON:XTA) announced Wednesday a significant increase to the mineral resource estimate at El Pachón copper and silver project in San Juan Province, Argentina.
Total mineral resources have increased to 3.3 billion tonnes at a grade of 0.47% copper, using a cut-off grade of 0.2% copper, and include additional silver and molybdenum byproduct credits. This represents a 20% increase compared to the previous mineral resource estimate published in December 2011. Total contained copper metal has increased by 16% to 15 million tonnes.
The new estimate comes as a result of remodelling the deposit through additional drilling from prior drilling campaigns not previously accounted for and the use of new geotechnical, metallurgical and economic parameters developed as part of the project’s final feasibility studies.
El Pachón is a major long-life development project with the potential to initially produce 400,000 tonnes of copper per annum. Xstrata Copper said it will continue to update the project’s final feasibility and environmental impact studies taking into account these new mineral resources.