Jan 23, 2010

Xstrata, Highlands Pacific upgrade Frieda River

COPPER, gold and silver resources have been upped at the Frieda River project, an Xstrata Copper and Highlands Pacific joint venture in  East Sepik province. (Pictured above is the base camp at Frieda River project).

The Horse-Ivaal-Trukai deposit has been increased by 26 percent, with 40 percent of that now being in the measured and indicated category reports PNG Industry news.

The deposit contains 1060 million tonnes of copper at 0.53 percent copper, 0.29 grams per tonne gold, and 0.8gpt silver at a copper cut-off grade of 0.3 percent copper on a 100 percent-ownership basis.
An exploration licence covers the resource - over an area of 150.6 square kilometers.

Measured resources were reported for the first time and are 30Mt at 0.6 percent copper, 0.32gpt gold and 0.7gpt silver.

Xstrata has a 76.3 percent equity stake in the Frieda River venture through a subsidiary, Xstrata Copper Frieda River, while Highlands Pacific's subsidiary Highlands Frieda holds 16.95 percent and OMRD Frieda holds 6.75 percent.

Xstrata Copper general manager project evaluation Peter Forrestal said results confirmed Frieda River had the potential to be a significant copper-gold producer in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said the company was committed to moving the project forward in partnership with its joint venture partners and was focused on conducting technical studies to complete a pre-feasibility study by the end of the third quarter, 2010.

Highlands Pacific managing director John Gooding said Frieda had the district and depth potential for many decades of production.

"The Frieda copper-gold project is shaping up as a one of the largest open pit Greenfield copper projects in the world," he said.

The deposit's indicated resources sit at 390Mt containing 0.57 percent copper, 0.33gpt gold, and 0.8gpt silver.

Inferred resources are 640Mt at 0.51 copper, 0.26gpt gold, and 0.8gpt silver.
Highlands Pacific was up 1c to at 37c by early afternoon.

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