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Cyprium Metals updates Nifty copper MRE

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Global Mining Review,

Cyprium Metals Ltd has announced the company’s maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the Nifty copper deposit following the completion of the acquisition of the Paterson Copper Project in March 2021. Cyprium’s previously disclosed estimate for Nifty was based on a review of the estimate disclosed by the former owner of the project at 31 December 2019.


  • Updated MRE completed for the heap leachable and deeper primary sulfide mineralisation contained within the Nifty copper deposit.
  • Heap leachable measured, indicated and inferred resource significantly increased to 11.9 million t at 1.1% copper (Cu) for ~135 000 t of contained copper metal delivering a substantial near surface copper inventory available for the Heap Leach Restart Study.
  • The total measured, indicated and inferred resource at Nifty has increased by ~97 000 t (15%) of contained metal to 45.9 million t at 1.6% Cu for ~732 000 t total contained copper metal.
  • Recent RC drilling results indicates excellent potential to further grow the resource.
  • Nifty’s position within the top 20 of Australian copper deposits confirmed.

The current Nifty MRE of 45.9 million t at 1.6% copper for a total contained copper inventory of approximately 732 000 t is significant because for the first time, a single model has been constructed of the various geometallurgical domains reflecting how the copper mineralisation can be recovered.

The Nifty Heap Leach Restart Study is focused on the development of the first phase of the project that involves a return to heap leaching and solvent extraction electrowinning (SX-EW) to produce refined copper cathode on site. The significant inventory of remnant heap leachable mineralisation confirmed by this MRE (11.9 million t at 1.1% copper for approximately 135 000 t of contained copper metal). Recent drilling at Nifty West and East has been designed primarily to confirm the mineralisation and to improve the confidence, hence classification of inferred resource, plus possible extension of mineralisation.

By way of background, Nifty was discovered by Western Mining Corporation in 1981 with opencast and heap leaching operations exploiting copper oxide ore commencing in 1993. The operation was purchased by Straits Resources Ltd in 1998 who continued heap leaching operations for their entire tenure. Aditya Birla Minerals Ltd acquired Nifty in 2003 with opencast operations ceasing in 2006 and heap leaching operations discontinued during 1Q09, leaving approximately 17 million t of partially leached material on the pads. Since that time, Nifty has operated entirely as an underground mining operation producing a copper concentrate in a separate dedicated flotation circuit.

More than 714 000 t of copper metal was produced by the previous operations at Nifty up to 2019.

Managing Director, Barry Cahill, commented: “Our maiden MRE for the Nifty copper deposit is the culmination of many months of geological rigor undertaken by our geological team, assisted by experienced external consultants. It is the first model for the deposit that combines both the remnant heap leachable and primary sulphide mineralised domains into a single contiguous estimate.

“This new MRE not only confirms Nifty as a top tier copper deposit but also underpins the development options currently being assessed as part of the Nifty Heap Leach Restart Study, which is on track for delivery during December. The significant increase in the heap leachable component of the deposit also affirms our view that Nifty has a considerable scope to become a long-term producer of SX-EW copper cathode.”

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Australian mining news Copper mining news