A scoping study has confirmed that Phase 1 of Orion Minerals’ Prieska zinc-copper project in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa could become a significant low-cost producer of zinc and copper concentrates. The study outlines an initial 10-year mining scenario, extracting 75% of an underground mineral resource of 28.73 million metric tons (mt) grading 3.77% zinc and 1.16% copper. A 2.4-million-mt-per-year (mt/y) processing operation would produce about 70,000 mt/y to 80,000 mt/y of zinc and 22,000 mt/y of copper in concentrates.
Orion is an Australian company headquartered in Melbourne and listed on the Australian and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Capital cost of construction of the Prieska project is estimated at A$360 million to A$390 million, including a 20% contingency. The construction period to first mining underground is estimated at about 24 months.