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Aeon Metals' scoping study at Walford Creek copper project outlines A$431M NPV

Aeon Metals Ltd. said Oct. 21 that the results of a scoping study for the Walford Creek copper-cobalt project in Queensland, Australia, supported the project's economic viability, outlining an initial life of about 11 years based on mining existing mineral resources in the Vardy and Marley deposits through conventional open pit and underground mining.

The study projected total output of 146,000 tonnes of copper and 22,000 tonnes of cobalt, along with zinc, lead, silver and nickel, for total copper equivalent production of 446,400 tonnes, with an average of 42,500 tonnes of copper equivalent per annum.

The company outlined an ungeared posttax net present value, at an 8% discount, of A$431 million, with an internal rate of return of 34% and a payback period of three years.

Preproduction capital expenditure is forecast at A$323 million, with all-in sustaining costs of US$1.56 per pound of copper equivalent.

The company said a pre-feasibility study on Walford Creek is now targeted for completion in the second quarter of 2020 after it expanded the scope of the study to include significant mineral resource updates expected at the Vardy, Marley and Amy deposits.

Aeon estimated 12 months for detailed engineering plans, with construction to take 12 months through 2022 and commissioning in the first quarter of 2023. The mine plan envisions 1.5 milllion tonnes per annum of heap leach processing capacity and 2 mtpa of flotation plant treatment.

In July, Aeon entered into an earn-in agreement with Footprint Resources Pty. Ltd. to acquire 100% interest in EPM 26316, adjacent to Walford Creek.