Oz Minerals has an option to purchase Vale’s share of the project, and is in discussions with BNDES regarding the possible acquisition of its option to acquire the remaining 50% interest.
Based on results of historical drilling by Vale, the project contains an estimated 5.8 million tonnes of mineral resources at 2.1% Cu and 0.35 g/t Au, which, according to Oz Minerals has the potential to grow the production and life of the Carajás East Hub.
“At our Carajás East Hub we recently commenced processing production ore from Pedra Branca, the first of our satellite mines to be realized under the Hub Strategy. We have taken Pedra Branca from a study concept to being permitted, built and into production within three years, a significant achievement by the team in Brazil,” OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said in a news release.
“The maiden mineral resource at Santa Lúcia is an important step in our Hub Strategy with the team now focused on advancing the project study, which will incorporate a further drill campaign. The study is assessing the viability of the Santa Lúcia run-of-mine ore being processed concurrently with Pedra Branca ore at the central processing facility at the Carajás East Hub,” Cole said.
The Santa Lúcia project, which has the potential to be developed into an open-pit mine, is located within a 40 km distance of Oz Minerals’ high-grade Antas copper-gold mine, in Pará state in the Northern region of Brazil. The deposit previously had a determined exploration target of 5-14 million tonnes grading 1.4-2.0% Cu.
Cole said assay results for the recently completed 7,000m of drilling will provide greater confidence in the mineral resource estimate and help inform the project study.
The company aims to update the resource and complete the study by mid-2022. Both results “will be key in deciding whether to exercise our option to acquire an interest in the project,” Cole said.