COPPER miner CuDeco has uncovered what it believes is among the highest grade copper ore known to exist in the world.
The Gold Coast company, which continues to mine and stockpile ore ahead of crushing at its Rocklands project in north-west Queensland, says the discovery has been made in what it describes as the “extremely rich supergene zone” that is unique to the central Las Minerale ore body at Rocklands.
Mining at Rocklands has reached the top of the supergene zone, which has uncovered “unique and exciting supergene copper species”, says CuDeco in a statement to the ASX today.
CuDeco, which is headed by Wayne McCrae (pictured), is planning to start digging a second mining pit by the end of the year as the company closes in on creating a stockpile of one million tonnes of ore since mining began late last year.
The ore is being stockpiled while construction of the crusher is being completed, and the company is targeting a stockpile of three million tonnes ahead of production starting.
CuDeco says it has uncovered a number of supergene copper species with copper concentrations of between 75 and 94 per cent.
Further testing is needed to determine the species of copper, but the company says the finds have effectively confirmed that it has underestimated the copper grades during sampling.
The company says it is surprised at the size of some of the coarse native matter being mined, which has moved it to upgrade the processing plant under construction.
CuDeco says the copper has sufficiently high grade that it may generate direct shipping ore product, which is copper ore that does not require crushing.
The company says it is progressing plans for ore shipments from its debut mining operation, which has been focused on high-grade native copper.