A recent Hartleys Report highlighted Avanco Resources Limited (ASX:AVB) Antas North Copper Mine located in Brazil.
Avanco Resources has announced the Antas development in Brazil is nearing the completion of commissioning and ramp-up to steady state production is expected during the JunQ. At full production levels the project is estimated to produce ~12ktpa Cu & ~7kozpa Au for the next ~10 years.
The initial processing results from Antas suggest the metallurgical characteristics of the orebody are in line with our expectations and modelling. The process plant commissioning delivered recoveries of ~90% Cu and ~84% Au and concentrate grades of 28% Cu and 5g/t Au. The Antas project looks increasingly likely to be constructed and operated on time and under budget.
AVB has undertaken infill drilling of the shallow HW-HGZ at Pedra Branca to upgrade the confidence of the resource where the “trial mining” is likely to commence. The drilling highlighted significant high grade intercepts within the broad, lower grade system; 8.05m @ 3.69% Cu, 1.46g/t Au; 2.5m @ 5.62% Cu, 0.61g/t Au; 2.3m @ 10.36% Cu, 2.21g/t Au. This drilling is a good example of the high grades that would be targeted in a small scale “trial mining” scenario. The initial mining would target the narrow, higher grade zones with potential to mine the lower grade zones once the full scale Pedra Branca mine and plant has been established (assuming pastefill we see minimal sterilisation of the lower grade mineralisation).
Our sum of parts valuation for Antas and Pedra Branca assumes Antas moves in to production in Q1 CY16 and Pedra Branca in mid-CY17. We model a 10 year minelife at Antas and a staged 15 years at Pedra Branca but see potential upside at both projects. We model a nominal $50m ($0.02/share) for exploration upside. We believe AVB is well positioned for brownfield exploration success at both projects and within the regional exploration projects. We may revisit the exploration value if further exploration success is seen from the ongoing regional exploration program.