Copper-Gold Explorer Bezant Resources Bets on the Philippines

- May 10th, 2018

Bezant Resources has released a strategic review of its copper-gold assets that concludes that its Philippine Mankayan project has “major potential.”

Copper and gold development company Bezant Resources (LSE:BZT) has released a strategic review of its copper-gold assets that concludes that its Philippine Mankayan project has “major potential.”

The Mankayan copper-gold project is to be the target of renewed focus by the company, as it believes the project could be a world class asset.

The strategic review, released on Thursday (May 10), made no mention of the political situation in regards to mining in the Philippines besides saying that the country “welcomes foreign investment.”

The company said that there was “major potential to generate further value from the existing data set,” which is a JORC Ore Reserve and Minable Inventory Statement for Mankayan from 2011 and promising drill results from 2014.

According to the company, Mankayan has probable ore reserves of 189 million tonnes at 0.46 percent copper and 0.49 grams per tonne (g/t) gold resulting in total recoverable metal reserves of 811,000 tonnes of copper and 2,210,000 ounces of gold.

The report also indicates a total mining inventory of approximately 390 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 0.38 percent copper and 0.42 g/t gold, equating to approximately 1.4 million tonnes of copper and 3.9 million ounces of gold.

In a roundup of top character traits for Makayan, the review also listed the projects good location near Baguio City in northern Luzon, potential further value in the ore body, and an independent conceptual study in 2014 that suggested a potential post-tax IRR (Internal Rate of Return) of 21 percent and post-tax NPV (Net Present Value) of approximately US$793 million at a 8 percent discount rate.

The review said that Mankayan project presents total post-tax net cash flows of approximately US$3.7 billion.

The review concluded that Mankayan was a substantial copper-gold project “in a country whose infrastructure and people are familiar with and experienced in large-scale mining.”

Chief executive officer of Bezant Laurence Read said in the review that he was “excited at the potential to revisit the historic Mankayan engineering study and apply new technical approaches in order to further enhance the potential financial returns.

“Mankayan not only has the capability to be a major future mine, but I believe it can also be developed in a staged approach to minimise the front end capital required.”

Bezant’s second project, the Eureka copper-gold project in Argentina, was subject to a full desktop review and site visit and was concluded to require further exploration work to determine its potential, though it was postulated to have 600,000 tonnes of contained copper and 52,000 ounces of gold.

It isn’t known how Bezant will reconcile it’s rosy outlook for Mankayan with the Philippine government’s standoffish approach to mining operations in recent years.

The company’s take on the Philippines approach to mining is somewhat dated, describing the nation on its website as having one of the “most liberal mining regimes in Southeast Asia”.

Bezant did not respond to questions by time of publishing.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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