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Final numbers are expected to be announced by the end of the year as Copper Mountain Mining steams closer to making a construction decision for the Eva copper mine.

The Canadian copper producer owns a 244,300 ha prospective land package in North-West Queensland, including the advanced Eva project, 95km north-east of Mount Isa.

In a company update released overnight, Copper Mountain Mining said it had continued to advance basic engineering and Eva project financing during the quarter.

A final capital cost, operating cost and update on project economics is expected to be complete and announced in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Copper Mountain Mining last year filed an updated feasibility study on the Eva project, which estimated average annual production of 100 million pounds of copper over a 15-year mine life.

Total initial development capital for the Eva copper project was estimated to be about $587.5 million at that stage.

There are seven pits that make up the Eva project’s mine plan. Little Eva is the primary pit and would be supplemented by progressively mining six satellite pit areas at Blackard, Scanlan, Turkey Creek, Bedford, Lady Clayre, and Ivy Ann.

Encouraging results from regional copper exploration

Copper Mountain Mining has also been carrying out exploration to discover additional copper, copper-gold or gold deposits at its Cameron project, situated 40km south of Eva.

It has reported encouraging results, with three mineralised zones identified.

The recent drill program encountered intercepts of high-grade mineralisation, within long, low-grade mineralised envelopes, with lateral continuity between intercepts of up to 1km.

“As a result of the success to date, a second round of drill testing has begun,” the company’s quarterly report states. 

“The company plans to carry out further drilling that will also include new undrilled targets with significant copper-gold anomalies in surface soil and rock samples.”

Back in Canada, the company is commissioning a third ball mill at the Copper Mountain mine and clocked up a gross profit of $C66.6 million ($71.6 million in Australian dollars) in the September quarter.

Eva promises ‘next tier of growth’

Copper Mountain president and chief executive officer Gil Clausen highlighted a healthy and increasing cash position for the company.

He said it was on track to advancing its organic growth objective of tripling 2020 production within the next five years, while maintaining a solid balance sheet. 

“In the third quarter, we completed the first step in our multi-tier growth plan with the successful installation of Ball Mill 3 at the Copper Mountain Mine,” Mr Clausen said.

“The next tier of growth is the Eva copper project, where project financing and basic engineering is progressing well.

“We also announced impressive drill results from our exploration program in the quarter at New Ingerbelle (British Columbia, Canada), where we doubled the vertical extent of mineralisation, and at Cameron copper, where we identified three large mineralised zones.

“We see exceptional exploration upside both in B.C. and in Australia and plan to continue to drill into 2022.”