New Century will investigate a potential restart of the Mt Lyell copper mine in Tasmania after exercising its option to acquire the owner of the historic site.
In late October, New Century inked a two-year option agreement with Monte Cello BV, a subsidiary of Vedanta, regarding the acquisition of Copper Mines of Tasmania, which owns Mt Lyell.
The deal formed part of a larger environmental, social and governance (ESG) focussed growth transaction, which also involved South Africa-based Sibanye-Stillwater acquiring 19.99 per cent of New Century.
As part of the two-year option period, New Century has a minimum expenditure requirement of $US10 million ($14 million) on the development and exploration of Mt Lyell.
Initial investigations will see New Century explore whether Mt Lyell’s existing infrastructure for tailings reprocessing is in need of refurbishment or replacement, before it then looks into the subsequent integration of sustainable in-situ ore processing at the mine.
This will form the basis of an initial options study, which New Century will look to complete across the next six months.
The company will then aim to complete a restart feasibility study by the second half of 2023, which may include further drilling and resource definition.
First starting operations in the 1890s, Mt Lyell is considered one of the most significant copper mines in Australian history.
Mt Lyell has a 135-metric-tonne (Mt) mineral resource containing 1.1Mt of copper and approximately 940,000 ounces of gold across various underground and open pit deposits.
When first announced in October, New Century managing director Patrick Walta said the growth transaction sets the platform for the continued transformation of his mining company.
“The New Century team has a clear focus on its vision to become a global leader in economic rehabilitation and tailings management,” he said.
“With the Century Mine asset now generating strong consistent cash flows, combined with hedging of unprecedented zinc prices and the near-term development of Silver King and other in-situ deposits, the company has created a fantastic ‘engine room’ for future growth.”
New Century’s share price was $1.97 at the time of writing.