Discovery Metals has revealed its intentions to make the Zeta Underground Mine a model for more extensive underground mining developments at Boseto and creating value from the significant mineral resources on the project located near Maun in Botswana.
The Zeta deposit forms part of the Boseto Copper Operation where open pit mining operations have been progressing since October 2011. The company has also completed its review of the Zeta Underground Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
The company completed DFS for the Zeta Underground Mine at Boseto in 2012 by Mining Plus Pty Limited, an industry respected Perth based mining consulting group.
It said the expected average production from the combined northern and southern Zeta mines of 1.5 Mtpa at 1.2% Cu (average of 16.6kt Cu and 720koz Ag per annum) is scheduled over an eleven year period mining Ore Reserves and Additional Mineral Inventory, stated Discovery Metals.
Both the Zeta Underground DFS completed by Mining Plus Pty Limited, and subsequent refinements to the mining parameters, have been reviewed by an external third party consultant, Runge Pincock Minarco (RPM), as a part of the current (2014) Ore Reserve estimation process. RPM considered the mining parameters reasonable and appropriate given the information provided.
Discovery Metals’ CEO Bob Fulker said the Zeta Underground Mine has been a key strategic component of the Boseto Development plan since inception in August 2010 saying this was reaffirmed during our Life of Mine planning that was completed in early 2014.
“The future of the Boseto Operation lies in the development of underground mining. We envisage having a minimum of three distinct mines with potentially five declines within the Boseto mineral district over the next decade, of which the Zeta Underground will be the first. These mines should have the potential to bring copper production up to a sustainable +30ktpa for 15 years or more,” stated Fulker.
“The Zeta Underground DFS established the technical and economic viability of the Zeta Underground Mine. Subsequent revisions to the design and the cost estimates reaffirm the Development Plan concept. Importantly, we intend that the Zeta Underground Mine will be a model for more extensive underground mining developments at Boseto, creating value from the significant mineral resources on the Boseto project.”
Discovery also announced the refinements made to the original strategies proposed by the Zeta Underground DFS.
The Zeta Underground DFS evaluated the development of an underground mining operation at Zeta based on the extraction of Ore Reserves and Additional Mineral Inventory located under the Zeta Open Pit. The Zeta Underground Mine was evaluated as a stand-alone mine with ore processed at the Boseto concentrator.
The Zeta Underground DFS was undertaken by Mining Plus Pty Limited (the Consultant), an experienced Perth based mining consultant, in 2012. The subsequent refinement of the mine design and schedule were completed by the Consultant in January 2014.
Key design changes made following the revision of the Zeta Underground DFS: sequencing mine development into northern and southern mines, with commencement of northern mine development leading the southern mine by approximately 18 months; deepening of the Zeta open pit at the southern end, providing an improved platform for the development of the southern decline in the footwall of the open pit and developing portals for underground access from within the established Zeta open pit, rather than via northern and southern boxcuts developed externally to the Zeta open pit.
Other changes are: accessing upper production (stoping) levels directly from the Zeta open pit via adits developed along the orebody strike; establishing a temporary portal and decline at the base of the Zeta open pit to access the third production level, also allowing the life-of-mine portal and access decline to be developed from both ends, reducing the overall construction time; reducing vertical development through the installation of ventilation adits and reducing surface fixed installation costs through the re-use of existing facilities. The company revealed a Mining Services Contract has been tendered, with firm pricing now received and a preferred tenderer selected.