AuKing confirms 11-year mine life through Scoping Study for Koongie Copper-Zinc Project in WA

ASX-listed explorer AuKing Mining (ASX:AKN) reports it has received ‘positive’ results from a Scoping Study for its Koongie Park Copper-Zinc Project in Western Australia.

The study confirmed the mine could source mineralisation from 4 open pit mines and an underground mine for an estimated total production of 110,000 tonnes of copper, 38,000 tonnes of zinc, and 355,000 ounces of silver over an 11-year mine life.

This Scoping Study also encompassed Cazaly Resources’ (ASX:CAZ) Halls Creek Copper deposits due to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) penned between the businesses in December 2022.

Under this MoU, Cazaly and AuKing recognised there could be ‘significant’ benefits in combining their resources in the Scoping Study and the potential future development of a central mining hub at the Sandiego deposit, with multiple feed options from the surrounding deposits.

Other ‘key’ outcomes highlighted in the study include a processing nameplate capacity of 750,000 tonnes per annum of run-of-mine (ROM) ore, a pre-production capex of $134 million with an estimated 2.45-year payback period, a ‘robust’ pre-tax net present value (NPV) of about $176.9 million, and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 39.7% per annum.

The life-of-mine earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the project is also $443.8 million, with an average operating cash flow of $40.3 million per annum.

AuKing reports it is finalising its forward work plan for next-stage studies and notes it has sufficient capital to begin further study work and to fund ongoing exploration.

Commenting on the Scoping Study, AuKing Mining Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Williams says: “The results of the Scoping Study show the potential to establish a ‘significant’ copper-zinc mining operation near Halls Creek in northeast Western Australia. The exploration team worked extremely hard throughout late 2021 and 2022 to provide a solid foundation for the Scoping Study. The proposed contribution of the nearby deposits of Cazaly Resources also makes a significant contribution to the project economics.

The results of the Scoping Study show the potential to establish a ‘significant’ copper-zinc mining operation near Halls Creek in northeast Western Australia”

The AuKing board is delighted with the robustness of the project and its resilience to multiple factors that the resource industry is experiencing in Western Australia with increasing cost escalation and market conditions. The development team will now diligently progress all the necessary technical components and engineering work streams to ensure the project is sufficiently de-risked, allowing the company to progress further development studies and possibly a Final Investment Decision (FID) late next year.

The board has approved the commencement of further studies at the project due to the compelling economics and the continuing strong copper market fundamentals.”

Also commenting, Cazaly Resources Managing Director Tara French says the company is ‘very pleased’ with the AuKing Scoping Study outcomes that now move the combined Halls Creek and Koongie Copper deposits towards potential development.

“The positive results of the Scoping Study indicate the potential viability of open-pit and underground operations centred around AuKing’s Sandiego Cu-Zn-Ag deposit. We note that the AuKing board has approved the commencement of further studies for the project, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative working relationship with them.”

AuKing reports the Scoping Study was completed with the assistance of ‘highly experienced and reputable’ independent consultants based in Western Australia and overseen by Wave International as project manager. Additionally, the study was completed to an overall estimating accuracy of +/- 30% and has a basis date for Q2 CY23.

The Koongie Park Copper-Zinc Project consists of the Sandiego, Onedin, Mt Angelo North, and Bommie open pit mines, along with an underground mine at Sandiego.

Sandiego has a total Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 4.1 million tonnes @ 1.38% Cu, 4.28% Zn, and 25g/t Ag; while Onedin has an MRE of 4.8 million tonnes @ 0.7% Cu, 3.2% Zn, 0.3g/t Au and 38g/t Ag; and Mt Angelo North has an MRE of 1.72 million tonnes @ 1.4% Cu, 1.4% Zn, and 12.3g/t Ag.

The company says 86% of the resources across these prospects are within the indicated category. Meanwhile, the Bommie deposit has an MRE of 95.6 million tonnes @ 0.27 Cu, of which 17% is in the indicated category.

AuKing Mining is an ASX-listed explorer and developer pursuing copper, uranium, and base metals projects in Australia and Tanzania.

Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au

Images: AuKing Mining Ltd
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.