Lundin Mining posts update for its various resources, reserves
Lundin Mining Corp. [LUN-TSX; LUMI-NASDAQ] reported its mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates effective as at December31, 2022 (or otherwise specified). On a consolidated and attributable basis, estimated contained metal in the proven and probable mineral reserve categories total 7,760 kt (thousand tonnes) (17.1 Blb (billion pounds)) of copper, 2,541 kt (5.6 Blb) of zinc, 56 kt (123 Mlb) of nickel, 736 kt (1.6 Blb) of lead, 12.7 Moz (million ounces) of gold and 150.5 Moz of silver.
Commenting on the mineral estimates, Peter Rockandel, CEO, said: “Our exploration programs continue to create significant value. We are excited to announce the maiden mineral resource estimate for the Sauva deposit located approximately 15 km from our Chapada plant in Brazil. The deposit remains open, and we expect the mineral resource to continue to grow with our ongoing exploration efforts. The Upper Keel zone at Eagle has been included in the mineral reserve estimate extending the life of mine and improving the metal production profile into 2027. Evaluation of the Lower Keel zone is ongoing for potential inclusion in future operating plans. Lastly, we have revised our mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates date to better align with our business planning cycle. Since the previous estimates reported as of June 30, 2021, we have been successful in largely replacing mine depletion, offsetting the impact of the removal of Alcaparrosa from Candelaria’s 2022 mineral reserve estimates, and adding to mineral inventories in our high-potential growth locations.”
2022 mineral resource and reserve highlights: Sauva’s indicated mineral resource is estimated to be 179.0 Mt at 0.32% copper and 0.20 g/t gold, containing 578 kt (1.3 Blb) of copper and 1.1 Moz of gold. The maiden mineral resource estimate is based on a drill database of 233 holes (65,413 m) completed by September 2022. The deposit remains open in all directions. Subsequent to the estimate cut-off date, 28 holes (8,522 m) were completed through the end of 2022. The 2023 exploration program is focused on increasing the mineral resource and testing step-out anomalies along the broader Sauva-Formiga trend and is expected to include 55,000 metres of drilling.
Candelaria’s total proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated to be 655.3 Mt at 0.50% copper, 0.12 g/t gold and 1.72 g/t silver, containing 3.3 Mt (7.2 Blb) of copper, 2.5 Moz of gold and 36.2 Moz of silver. The majority of the new mineral reserves reflect continued underground exploration success, particularly in the Candelaria North Sector mine. The Candelaria underground expansion project (CUGEP) aims to increase ore production rates from these mines and improve the overall metal production profile of Candelaria. CUGEP design work is advancing ahead of receipt of the 2040 EIA and an investment decision. Mineral reserve estimates for the Alcaparrosa mine have been removed from the 2022 estimates with the mine currently on temporary suspension. The company is working with the relevant authorities toward a potential restart of mining operations at Alcaparrosa.
Candelaria’s total measured and indicated mineral resources are estimated to be 1,232.4 Mt at 0.60% copper, 0.13 g/t gold and 2.03 g/t silver, containing 7.4 Mt (16.4 Blb) of copper, 5.3 Moz of gold and 80.6 Moz of silver.
Chapada’s total copper-gold proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated to be 655.7 Mt at 0.23% copper and 0.13 g/t gold, containing 1.5 Mt (3.3 Blb) of copper and 3.7 Moz of gold. Reduction in mineral reserves compared with the June 30, 2021, estimate owes primarily to mine depletion over the 1.5-year period, as well as updated metallurgical recovery and increased operating cost assumptions.
Chapada’s total copper-gold measured and indicated mineral resources are estimated to be 1,101.1 Mt at 0.23% copper and 0.12 g/t gold, containing 2.5 Mt (5.4 Blb) of copper and 4.2 Moz of gold. Exploration success since the June 30, 2021, estimates have offset mine depletion. Suruca Gold measured and indicated mineral resources remain unchanged at 147.5 Mt at 0.53 g/t gold, containing 2.5 Moz of gold.
Eagle’s total proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated to be 3.4 Mt at 1.6% nickel and 1.3% copper, containing 56 kt (124 Mlb) of nickel and 44 kt (97 Mlb) of copper along with payable gold, silver, cobalt and platinum group elements. The increase in mineral reserves compared with the June 30, 2021, estimates is due mainly to the inclusion of the Upper Keel zone which extends the life of mine into 2027. Evaluation of the Lower Keel zone is continuing, and targets on the peripheries of the Eagle East orebody are being explored and evaluated. At current metal prices, the company believes that a real opportunity exists for mine life extension in these areas proximal to existing mine infrastructure. Eagle’s total measured and indicated mineral resources are estimated to be 3.9 Mt at 1.9% nickel and 1.4% copper, containing 72 kt (159 Mlb) of nickel and 55 kt (121 Mlb) of copper.
Neves-Corvo’s total copper proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated to be 21.2 Mt at 2.1% copper, containing 438 kt (966 Mlb) of copper. Zinc proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated to be 22.3 Mt at 7.5% zinc, containing 1.7 Mt (3.7 Blb) of zinc and payable lead. Estimated mineral reserve reductions compared with the June 30, 2021, estimates are primarily a result of the 1.5 years of mining depletion.
Neves-Corvo’s total copper and total zinc measured and indicated mineral resources are estimated to be 56.0 Mt at 2.2% copper, containing 1.2 Mt (2.8 Blb) of copper, and 65.1 Mt at 6.8% zinc, containing 4.4 Mt (9.8 Blb) of zinc along with payable lead, respectively. Neves-Corvo’s 2021 and 2022 exploration programs have had modest scope as efforts and focus are on the ramp-up of the zinc expansion project. Gains from in-mine exploration and infill drilling since the June 30, 2021, estimates have been offset by mining depletion. Further, pandemic-related backlogs have delayed infill drilling assays and impacted potential conversion of mineral resources.
Zinkgruvan’s total zinc proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated to be 9.3 Mt at 7.9% zinc and 3.3% lead, containing 739 kt (1.6 Blb) of zinc and 306 kt (675 Mlb) of lead. The reduction from the June 30, 2021, estimate is the result of mine depletion partially offset with the addition of the Dalby sector into mineral reserves. The copper proven and probable mineral reserves are estimated to be 1.7 Mt at 2.2% copper, containing 37 kt (82 Mlb) of copper. The mineral reserve reductions are primarily a result of mining depletion.
Zinkgruvan’s total zinc measured and indicated mineral resources are estimated to be 17.8 Mt at 8.1% zinc and 3.3% lead, containing 1.4 Mt (3.2 Blb) of zinc and 592 kt (1.3 Blb) of lead. The decrease compared with the prior estimate is a result of mine depletion and increased cut-off values. Copper measured and indicated mineral resources of 3.8 Mt at 2.1% copper, containing 81 kt (178 Mlb) of copper.
In April 2022, Lundin Mining completed the acquisition of the Josemaria copper-gold project. Josemaria mineral resources and mineral reserves remain unchanged since the 2020 estimates. Subsequent to the 2020 estimate cut-off date, 58 holes (30,612 m) have been completed through the end of 2022 which will be incorporated into future mineral resource and reserve estimates, expected to be included in the upcoming technical report. Mineral reserves are estimated to be 1,011.8 Mt at 0.30% copper, 0.22 g/t gold and 0.94 g/t silver, containing 3.0 Mt (6.7 Blb) of copper, 7.0 Moz of gold and 30.7 Moz of silver. Measured and indicated mineral resources are estimated to be 1,158.8 Mt at 0.29% copper and 0.21 g/t gold and 0.90 g/t silver, containing 3.3 Mt (7.4 Blb) of copper, 7.8 Moz of gold and 35.1 Moz of silver.
Lundin Mining is a diversified Canadian base metals mining company with operations and projects in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, Sweden and the United States, primarily producing copper, zinc, gold and nickel.