True North to kick off Cloncurry operations

True North Copper (ASX:TNC) is starting mining operations this year at its Cloncurry Copper Project, upon completing a mine restart study (MRS), as previously reported

Mining operations will start at the Wallace North open-cut pit, targeting ‘higher grade’ ores from surface mining.

True North, which has a market capitalisation of $52.79 million, has secured all necessary permits for mining across the project and are currently in engagement processes for contractors, service providers, and personnel, who will be integrating into the existing workforce. 

Managing Director Marty Costello says the company is committed to extending its Cloncurry project’s mine life. 

“We are actively pursuing exploration and expansion opportunities within the GAM and Wallace North deposits, alongside our strategic tenure package around Cloncurry. 

We will also continue exploration and resource work at Mt Oxide as part of our core strategy for growth and production.”

Cloncurry’s initial life-of-mine plan demonstrates a strong economic basis and low-risk cost structure, with ‘significant’ cash flow generated during its initial 4.6 year mine life. 

Costello says the restart study confirms a robust and sustainable mining operation that has capacity to generate substantial cash flow. 

“Projected mine revenue is $367 million with a free cash flow of $111 million and we anticipate a rapid payback period of just 6 months post-mining restart. 

Our strategic partnerships, including a binding offtake and toll-mining agreements with Glencore International, supported by debt funding secured with Nebari, underscore our operational readiness and position TNC to capitalise on what we believe is an extremely favourable copper market.”

In 2023, True North carried out grade control drilling at the GAM and Wallace North projects to mitigate risks and bolster a potential mining revival. 

Subsequently, reserves were delineated at GAM in July 2023 and at Wallace North in February 2024, which formed the foundation for a unified life-of-mine strategy. 

The company says this paved the way for the resumption of mining activities across the tenements. 

At MRS release, the company had completed a $42 million AUD equivalent USD-denominated senior secured loan facility with Nebari Natural Resources Credit Fund II. 

Execution of a formal loan documentation for the loan facility provides up to US$28 million in two tranches, with US$18 million drawn at closing and US$10 million available to be drawn following commencement of the mining of sulphide ore at the Cloncurry Copper Project. 

Project economics forecast payback from mining and processing based on the LoM plan.

True North says the MRS has been completed to a Prefeasibility Study level of accuracy. All costings, unless specified otherwise, have been undertaken at an accuracy level of ± 25%. 

True North Copper is a copper, cobalt, and critical minerals mining company that is headquartered in Cairns, Queensland. 

As of 31 December 2023, the company had $1.635 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report. 

Post-quarter-end, True North executed binding agreements for a 4-year US$28 million senior secured loan facility with Nebari Natural Resources Credit Fund II LP. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au  

Images: True North Copper
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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.