Australia’s Lycopodium has confirmed it will complete A$55 million (US$37m) of study and basic engineering work on one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold projects in Pakistan.
The company said a contract with Barrick Gold Corporation was being finalised after it was selected as preferred tenderer for delivery of the feasibility study and basic engineering for the potential US$7 billion Reko Diq project.
Project kick-off was planned for later this month.
Barrick wants to get a mine at Reko Diq up and running in 2028.
Lycopodium said the project, in the north-west corner of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, could be built in two stages, with phase one based on a 40 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) copper concentrator and associated infrastructure, and phase two plant throughput increased to 80Mtpa.
“Lycopodium will coordinate the overall feasibility study for both phases, providing the feasibility study deliverables to support the NI 43-101 technical report,” the company said.
“Basic engineering will only be performed on phase one of the project.”
Reko Diq is seen to have a potential 40-year life as a major openpit mine.
The feasibility study is scheduled for completion in Q4 calendar 2024, with basic engineering down to wind up in Q2 2025.
Lycopodium has been one of the best-performing mining equipment, technology and services (METS) equities on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2023. Its share price is up more than 53% since the start of the year, capitalising the company at about $414 million.