AIC Mines flags 86% boost to Jericho resource

AIC Mines (ASX:A1M) has ‘significantly’ increased the ore reserve estimate for its wholly owned Jericho copper deposit, which sits 4km south of its Eloise Copper Mine in Queensland. 

The company says Jericho’s ore reserves now total 3.2 million tonnes at 1.9% copper and 0.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, representing 61,100 tonnes of contained copper and 37,000 ounces of gold. 

Jericho’s updated ore reserve marks an 86% increase in copper and gold, with ongoing drilling expected to further increase the resource. 

Managing Director Aaron Colleran says the company has owned Jericho for less than 12 months, and has already bolstered the mineral resource and ore reserve, completed mining and environmental studies and metallurgical testwork, as well as an expansion study on Eloise.

“Why are we pushing so hard, moving so quickly? Simple, Jericho is a game-changer for Eloise. It provides a pathway to expanding annual production at Eloise to over 20,000 tonnes of copper and 10,000 ounces of gold in concentrate. Mining at Jericho will be lower cost than Eloise as it is much shallower, commencing below only 50m of cover. 

“Expansion of the Eloise processing plant will reduce operating costs through economies of scale and smarter equipment. Jericho re-risks production by increasing the number of available ore sources. The world needs more copper as we transition away from fossil fuels. We are focused on delivering into that demand.”

AIC says completing the ore reserve estimate is a key step in finalising the Independent Technical Expert review, conducted by SRK Consulting on behalf of potential debt providers. 

This process is progressing with the expectation that final offers will be received from debt providers in June 2024. 

The company says further drilling is warranted at Jericho, as mineralisation remains open along strike and at depth. 

While most drilling will be completed from underground positions following development of Jericho, surface drilling is planned for the 2024 field season and will target lenses open along strike, down plunge extensions of the known ‘high-grade’ shoots and the recently discovered Swagman shoot. 

AIC says recent mine planning and project evaluation work has highlighted the potentially ‘significant positive’ impact that mineralisation at Swagman could have on the development of Jericho. 

The shoot is ideally located for mine development, occurring midway between Eloise and Jericho, and is considered a ‘high priority’ target for further drilling. 

AIC Mines is a growth-focused Australian resources company focused on building its portfolio of gold and copper assets. 

As of 31 December 2023, the company had $26.65 million in cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: AIC Mines
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.