Kapulo Copper Mine Project owned by Mawson West, a copper and silver- focused company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and based in Perth, Australia, is located in the south-eastern corner of the DRC- Haut Katanga District, Katanga Province between Lake Mweru and Lake Tanganyika, approximately 15 km from Zambian border.
The Kapulo project consist of three deposit, being Shaba, Safari north and Safari South. Shaba and Safari, which are separated by a sequent of the Kapulo Fault ~2kms long that is on weakly mineralized. The deposits are each ~20m wide and ~200 m long. Shaba extends down-plunge for at least 370 m, whereas Safari pinches and narrows below ~100 m. They occur at places where Kapulo Fault strikes NNW, in contrast to its overall NNE orientation.
At surface, the Kapulo orebodies comprise wide clay-altered zones containing abundant copper carbonates and oxides. This oxidized zone passes abruptly downwards into primary mineralization dominated by Cu-Fe sulfides with little or no transition zone. The sulfide minerals occur as massive to semimassive stratiform replacements of the greywacke and occasionally as breccia cements and veinlet networks in greywacke and granite.
The handingwall to the Kapulo deposits is a quartz sandstone. This is separated from mineralized carbonaceous, laminated greywacke by the main strand of the Kapulo Fault. The footwall of the deposits is marked by a subordinate fault strand, along which sedimentary rocks have been juxtaposed against massive syenogranite. The hangingwall fault marks a knife-edge boundary of the mineralization, whereas the lower fault strand commonly hosts, or is cut by copper mineralization.
Kapulo Mine Project
The Kapulo project involves the development of an open-cut mine. The company has concluded its extensive work, which included the infill and extensional drilling undertaken in 2013, new geological interpretations and updated resource estimates, an extensive program of metallurgical test work, complete revision of cost and revenue parameters, re-optimisation and design of open pits, and new mining and processing schedules.
Mineral Reserves across the three planned open pits are now estimated to total 3.396 Mt at 3. 72% Cu in Proven Reserves and 0.546Mt @ 3.23% Cu in Probable Reserves.
The mineral Reserves inventory supports a 6.3 year mine life, average annual production of 19, 400 tonnes of copper in concentrate and approximately 122, 00 tonnes total recovered copper over the life of the mine.
At the end of mine life, an additional 653, 000 tonnes @ 1.05% Cu or 6, 800 tonnes of contained copper will remain in low-grade stockpiles.
Predicted copper recoveries and concentrate grades vary by material type (oxide, transition and sulphide ores) and by deposit (Shaba, Safari North and Safari South deposits), resulting in a series of economic cut-off grades being applied to delineate Mineral Reserves.
The high conversion of Mineral Reserves from Probable to Proven (86%) underpins the improvement in confidence for the project. The updated Mineral Reserves inventory also confirms an expected average production profile of more than 19, 400 tonnes of copper in concentrate per annum over the current 6.3 year life, explains Bruce McFadzean, Chief Executive for Mawson West.
Commissioning of Kapulo Project
Kapulo Project commissioning is currently underway, having commenced in November 2014, with full production earmarked for the Q1 2015.