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Copper Mountain Mining has launched an extensive field program aimed at discovering new deposits within the large tenement area around its Eva copper project in North-West Queensland.

The company said an exploration team mobilised to Cloncurry in mid-March and would undertake a drill program focused primarily on copper and copper-gold targets.

The 2021 exploration program consists of 6000m of RC drilling and 1200m of diamond drilling.

Detailed geochemical and geophysical surveys will be used to target exploration drill holes in some areas, whereas other areas to be drilled will be following up on previous drill results.

Copper Mountain Mining owns a 244,300ha prospective land package in North-West Queensland, including the advanced Eva copper and gold project, 95km north-east of Mount Isa.

It obtained the assets in early 2018 through the acquisition of Altona.

The company recently closed a $US250 million bond financing to refinance its existing debt, enabling it to access 100 per cent of the excess free cash flow from its Copper Mountain Mine in Canada and to help fund growth projects there as well as the Eva copper project.

President and chief executive officer Gil Clausen said last month that the company planned to make a construction decision on Eva by the end of 2021.  

The Eva copper project is expected to be developed as a conventional open pit operation with a conventional crush, grind, flotation circuit.

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. 

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.

Total initial development capital for the Eva copper project was estimated to be about $587.5 million ($US382 million).