Majority owner of the Whim Creek copper-zinc project in north-west Western Australia, Anax Metals, has engaged niche processing plant builder Gekko Systems to come up with a modular design for its proposed 320,000 tonnes per annum concentrator that could deliver cost and lead-time benefits.
The junior is funding a definitive feasibility study with 20% Whim Creek partner, Develop (formerly Venturex Resources), on a A$55 million project with the aim of producing 10,000-11,000 tonnes per annum copper-equivalent. Subject to outcomes of the DFS, Anglo American could stump up US$20 million of debt funding for the project.
Anax aims to complete the study by the middle of this year.
Gekko, established in 1996 and part-owned by Dale Elphinstone’s Elphinstone Group, operates engineering and fabrication facilities at Ballarat in Victoria. The Whim Creek plant and associated infrastructure could be fabricated and assembled on skids prior to transportation and installation on site.
“We are very pleased to be working with the Gekko team and look forward to delivering a cost-effective modular plant for Whim Creek,” Anax managing director Geoff Laing said.
“Modularisation is a key element of the Anax blueprint which is expected to deliver leveraged outcomes to our projects.”
Feedstock for a polymetallic sulphide concentrator plant at Whim Creek would consist of primary sorted ore and upgraded fines from a gravity circuit.
Whim Creek has resources totalling 8.79 million tonnes grading 1.1% copper, 0.93% zinc and 0.25% lead, including an estimated 550,000t grading 2.19% copper, 3.49% zinc, 0.8 grams per tonne gold and 35gpt silver in the Evelyn deposit.