Copper developer Redbank Mines Limited has commenced activity on a $2.5 million exploration and development program at its primary Northern Territory project, with an aim of doubling existing resources of mineable copper sulfi de.
Redbank’s aim is to expand resources to support an initial five year mine life at a minimum production rate of 300,000 tonnes of ore through a sulfide process stream.
Redbank is currently compiling data to rank high priority targets which will be followed by mapping and ground geophysical surveys ahead of drilling.
The company holds a significant ground position within the McArthur Basin region, with more than 2,700 square kilometres under lease or application.
The tenement package includes numerous advanced copper targets and currently has indicated JORC resources of 1.7 million tonnes at 1.7% copper and inferred JORC resources of 3.5 million tonnes at 1.3%, totalling 5.2 million tonnes at a grade of 1.4% copper for 75,000 tonnes of contained copper metal. Redbank believes that only 15% of the tenement area has been explored using modern techniques.
Earlier this year Redbank announced that mining and treatment operations at the Redbank Copper Mine, located in the prospective McArthur River Basin, would be placed on care and maintenance during 2009 while it focused on exploration.
The company is using this period of lower copper prices as an opportunity to expand its resources base and extend potential mine life, ensuring they are well positioned to return to production in 2010.
As part of the development program studies will be undertaken to demonstrate the viability of both an oxide and sulfi de processing stream.