Asiamet BKM Copper Project Feasibility Study Results Enhance Mine Development Potential

Asiamet Resources Limited ("ARS" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on the progress being made on the Beruang Kanan Main ("BKM") feasibility studies.

  • Significant ramp-up of metallurgical activities over the past two months
  • Geotechnical program completed with no major issues identified
  • Numerous options to reduce pre-production capital and favourable conditions to support low mining costs identified in the geotechnical studies
  • Project Definition Study, focused on mining engineering has been completed
  • Production capacity confirmed at 25 ktpa copper cathode with phased approach a suitable option to lower pre-production capital and provide a better start up risk profile for the BKM development

Resource definition and metallurgical test-work programs continue to advance as planned, with a significant ramp-up of activities over the past two months.  

In parallel to these key project elements, the Company has progressed the early phase feasibility studies into the engineering and design aspects of the project. These studies utilize the information and learnings developed by Asiamet over the past year, and build on the positive conceptual design work conducted as part of the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA).  

PT Ground Risk Management (GRM) was commissioned to lead the geotechnical program for the BKM project. A highly experienced consultancy, GRM has completed over 100 geotechnical assignments across the Indonesian archipelago in the past eight years, more than 50 of which have been based in Kalimantan, where the BKM copper project is located.  

GRM completed a program of data collation, detailed mapping, geotechnical logging and laboratory testing to develop a robust geotechnical database for the open pit mine, including assessments and recommendations on the location and management of waste dumps. Geotechnical input into the infrastructure location studies and a field survey of the site access road route was also completed.

Highlights of the work completed by GRM include:

  • Approximately 34% of material in the shallower 35-40 metres of the proposed pit, is classified as 'easy digging', which will contribute to relatively lower mining costs.
  • No foundation treatment is likely to be required below the proposed waste dump locations, saving on potential pre-production costs for development of the waste dump site.
  • There is the potential to steepen pit wall angles in the upper section of the open pit (>40 metres depth), compared with the previous pit design. This would lead to lower estimated operating costs through a lower strip ratio.
  • Investigations revealed there are no large landslides that could present a significant impact to the project. This includes both the proposed open pit and the potential infrastructure locations.
  • The BKM copper deposit lies within an area of very low seismicity and seismic ground vibrations are therefore expected to be insignificant in terms of earthworks design.
  • The trafficability of the existing site access road is considered to be good. GRM suggest that the mine development proceed with zero upgrade work and address the potential hazards and reliability issues through simple, operational procedures and effective road maintenance systems.

Australian Mine Design and Development (AMDAD) were engaged to undertake the mining engineering components of the feasibility study. AMDAD's scope of work for the initial phase included open pit optimization, production rate assessments and development scenario analysis. AMDAD completed a Project Definition Study (PDS) to address the scope of work, which builds upon planning from the PEA on the BKM Project.

The PDS updates the cost and revenue assumptions from the PEA and provides a sufficiently detailed pit design and schedule to demonstrate the practicality of the mine plan including an updated assessment of the site layout. This updated design and schedule potentially offers major operational and cost benefits compared to the PEA design.

Highlights of optimization results reported by AMDAD include:

  • The production rate assessments confirmed the PEA assumption that a 25 ktpa Copper Cathode operation was the optimal name-plate capacity for BKM.
  • The development scenario analysis identified a potential phased development solution, with an initial project phase targeting 10 ktpa copper cathode production, followed by an expansion to the name-plate capacity of 25 ktpa. Such an approach would provide a number of benefits, namely:
    • Lower up front pre-production capital costs
    • The likelihood that cash flows from production during the 10 ktpa phase could be used to finance a substantial portion of the expansion costs
    • A more favourable risk profile for the BKM project
  • Significant potential upside exists with the next update of the Resource model, definition of leachable copper and improvements to the mine sequencing to maximise early copper production, while deferring waste mining costs.
  • The PDS indicates significant value for the project with strong positive cash flows from the first year of operations and a project life of at least nine years.
  • Further work is required to plan for acid drainage controls and optimisation of the site layout.

Results of the PDS provide a high level of confidence in advancing to a Definitive Feasibility Study.

Detailed feasibility study work is continuing as results from the current Resource definition and metallurgical test-work programs become available. With improved Resource knowledge, AMDAD will execute the required work to produce feasibility level pit designs, waste rock management and dump designs, mining equipment sizing and selection, mine scheduling, and the estimation of capital and operating costs for the mine. 

The Resource definition drilling program is expected to be completed in early April with an updated Resource estimate due shortly thereafter.

Peter Bird, Asiamet's Chief Executive Officer commented:

"The positive results generated from these early engineering and design studies, coupled with the excellent results and progress being made in our Resource definition and metallurgical test-work programs, enhances the potential for developing a high quality medium scale copper mine at BKM. Outputs from these studies enables the Company to accurately define the work required to finalize the Definitive Feasibility Study phase of the project. The work undertaken by our highly experienced team continues to advance the BKM feasibility study in line with best-practice and we look forward to reporting further results as they become available." 

Qualified Person

Data disclosed in this press release have been reviewed and verified by ARS's qualified person, Stephen Hughes, P. Geo, Vice President Exploration of the Company and a Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101 and for the purposes of the AIM Rules.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Peter Bird, Deputy Chairman and CEO

For further information, please contact: 

-Ends-

Peter Bird
Deputy Chairman and CEO, Asiamet Resources Limited
Telephone: +61 3 8644 1300
Email: [email protected]

Tony Manini
Executive Chairman, Asiamet Resources Limited
Telephone: +61 3 8644 1300
Email: [email protected]

FlowComms Limited
Sasha Sethi
Telephone: +44 (0) 7891 677 441
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

Asiamet Resources Nominated Adviser
RFC Ambrian Limited
Andrew Thomson / Oliver Morse
Telephone: +61 8 9480 2500
Email: [email protected] / [email protected] 

VSA Capital Limited
Andrew Raca / Justin McKeegan
Telephone: +44 20 3005 5004 / +44 20 3005 5009
Email: [email protected]

Optiva Securities Limited
Christian Dennis 
Telephone: +44 20 3137 1903
Email: [email protected]

This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the Company's current expectations and estimates. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "suggest", "indicate" and other similar words or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results implied or expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the actual results of current exploration activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing; and fluctuations in metal prices. There may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.