Copper in the ground a valuable asset
Aeris Resources

Money in the bank is important for any mining company, but for a copper producer, copper in the ground is trumps.

Aeris Resources (ASX: AIS) has a copper‑dominant portfolio consisting of four operating assets and highly prospective exploration targets across Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. 

Add to this an aggressive exploration program, complimentary zinc and gold extraction, and a desire to investigate strategic merger and acquisitions opportunities.

‘Our portfolio now has four mines with exploration upside, plus a long-life development project,’ says Aeris Resources Executive Chairman Andre Labuschagne.

Production from the Stockman Project will take the company up another 30,000–35,000 tonnes of copper equivalent per year, from the current 65,000 tonnes.

The company recently released a Group Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Statement for its operations at Tritton, New South Wales; Cracow, Queensland; Jaguar, Western Australia; North Queensland; and the Stockman Project, Victoria.

The numbers speak for themselves, with the group mineral resource increased to 51.9 million tonnes and the ore reserve increased to 16.5 million tonnes from the previous year, following the company’s acquisition of Round Oak Minerals in July 2022.

These numbers position the company as a copper producer of some significance for the foreseeable future.

The importance of the company’s exploration program has already come to fruition at Tritton Copper Operations, which continues to be Aeris’s major copper contributor.

It saw a 50 per cent increase to its mineral resource estimate from the previous year to 344,000 tonnes of copper metal, driven by a new estimate for the Constellation deposit and resource definition drilling at the Murrawombie deposit.

For the Constellation deposit, a mineral resource estimate has already been reported of 6.7 million tonnes at 1.85 per cent of copper, 0.58 grams per tonne of gold, 2.9 grams per tonne of silver for 123,000 tonnes of copper metal, 125,000 ounces of gold metal, and 620,000 ounces of silver metal.

Drilling at Murrawombie has encountered mineralisation down-plunge from the deposit, demonstrating potential to extend the life of the Murrawombie underground.

‘Nine years ago, we said our main copper asset Tritton could have a mine life of four years, and now it’s mine life extends well into the 2030 financial year,’ says Labuschagne.

‘This extension is directly attributed to the exploration and discovery success we have enjoyed throughout that time.’

Aeris is hoping to replicate this success at its other copper-producing assets.

‘Our new Stockman Project already has a 10-year reserve life, and Jaguar also has a history of reserves replacement,’ says Labuschagne. ‘While it mines more zinc than copper, it still produces copper at a good rate.

‘We have two long-life copper-producing assets, and through our ongoing commitment to further exploration, we expect our other mines to continue to grow and extend in the years ahead as well.’ 

With highly prospective targets at their other operating assets, and a strong track record of extending mine life, it looks like copper in the ground really is trumps for Aeris. 

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