True North Copper (ASX:TNC)

True North Copper March 2024 Quarterly Report

True North Copper Limited (ASX:TNC) (True North Copper, TNC or the Company) is pleased to provide the following quarterly update and Appendix 5B for Q3 FY24.


HIGHLIGHTS

Funding and Strategic Partnerships

  • A$42M (USD28M) USD-denominated senior secured loan facility (Loan Facility) with Nebari Natural Resources Credit Fund II LP (Nebari)1. The Loan Facility is provided in two tranches. Drawdown of Tranche 1 – USD$18M (approximately A$27M) occurred 9 February 20242.
  • Binding offtake and toll-milling agreements with Glencore International AG(Glencore) for 100% of copper concentrate from TNC’s Cloncurry Copper Project (CCP) and toll-milling services of up to 1Mt of ore per year for the CCP’s Life of Mine (LoM)5.

Cloncurry Copper Project Mining Preparedness

  • Mining restart study confirms positive CCP project economics. Study reported anticipated mine revenue of A$367M with free cash flow of A$111M, and a pre-tax NPV10 of A$88M over a 4.6 year mine life, at USD$8,500/t Cu price and USD$1,850/oz Au price (0.7 A$:USD exchange rate)6.
  • Wallace North Mine preparation and mobilisation progressed. Wallace North is scheduled as the first open pit (one of four – Wallace North, Great Australia Mine [GAM], Taipan and Orphan Shear) to be mined as part of the mining restart at the CCP6. Mining ramp-up will initially build ore stockpiles, with mining expected to start Q4 FY24. Oxide copper-gold ore will be transported by road train to the Cloncurry Operations heap leach. Sulphide ore will be transported to a nearby concentrator for toll treatment under TNC's toll-milling agreement with Glencore7.

Resources and Reserves

  • Maiden Wallace North Ore Reserve. Mine designs produced a maiden Wallace North Ore Reserve totalling 0.7Mt (Probable) grading 1.01% Cu and 0.46g/t Au for 6.8kt Cu and 10.0koz Au8.
  • CCP’s total Ore Reserves increased. Addition of the Wallace North Ore Reserve raises TNC’s Cloncurry Copper Project (CCP) total Reserves to 4.7Mt Probable Ore Reserves grading 0.80% Cu and 0.13g/t Au, containing 37.5kt of copper and 20.0koz of gold8, with MEC advancing a further GAM upgrade in Q4 FY24.
  • Mt Oxide Project Resources: Vero Resource metallurgical studies completed on schedule allowing revised Vero Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) incorporating 2023 confirmation drilling to be reported in Q4 FY24.

Copper Sulphate Production

  • Copper Sulphate Crystal sales totalled 164.9t (45.6t contained Cu) Q3 FY24. Operational costs were substantially reduced in line with depleting production from existing stockpiled ore. Operations were disrupted with frequent high intensity weather events.

Exploration

  • 2024 Exploration Program announced. Aggressive exploration strategy targeting transformative discoveries across TNC’s more than 850 sq km of tenure package within the Mt Isa Inlier10.
  • TNC awarded Queensland Government $300,000 Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) Grant. The CEI grant will be used towards delivery of leading edge MIMDAS Induced Polarisation, Resistivity and Magnetotelluric geophysical surveysat the Mt Oxide. The exploration aims to identify massive and disseminated sulphide mineralisation at Mt Oxide11.
  • Cloncurry Projects - prioritised targeting for geophysics on mining and exploration tenure completed. TNC will schedule geophysical contractors for commencement during Q4 FY24.
  • Camp Gossans prospect (Mt Oxide) - strongly anomalous copper-cobalt zones. Anomalous Cu, Co & As zones identified from multiple gossanous breccia structures that are up to 16m wide with a combined strike length of over 500m12.
  • Cloncurry and Flamingo Projects – surface exploration – confirms prospectivity of multiple underexplored Cu-Au mineral systems. Highly encouraging copper and gold assays returned from rock chip sampling confirms prospectivity of multiple underexplored Cu-Au mineral systems.

Corporate

  • TNC’s cash balance and receivables totalled A$3.1M as at 31 March 2024. Trade Receivables - $A0.1M. ▪ Environmental Bonds required under the Company’s tenements secured by A$13.47m in restricted cash.
  • Final tranche of share placement announcement 17 November 2023 was settled on 16 January 2024. Settlement occurred following the Company’s major shareholder Tembo Capital Holdings receiving FIRB approval for the transaction. The Company subsequently issued 54,166,667 fully paid ordinary shares at 12 cents per share of which 36,286,100 shares were issued to settle the short-term loan provided by Tembo Capital Holdings UK and the remaining 17,880,567 shares were issued for cash totalling $A2.15M.
  • A$5M placement by Millinium Capital Managers Limited as trustee for MP Materials and Mining Group Fund - comprising the issue of 41,666,667 fully paid ordinary shares in the Company (Shares) at an issue price of A$0.12 per Share (Placement)3. Settlement of $1 million of this placement occurred on 26 April 2024 with the remainder to be settled no later than 31 May 20244.

COMMENT

True North Copper’s Managing Director, Marty Costello said:

The global demand for copper continues to rise against a backdrop of diminishing supply, creating exceptionally favourable market conditions as True North Copper prepares to become Australia’s next copper producer.

This quarter has marked a significant and rapid transformation. We have entered into strategic partnerships and created critical pathways for our future mining operations, including an off-take and toll-milling agreement with Glencore. In terms of financing, we secured a US$28M (~A$42M) of debt funding from Nebari and separately Millinium Capital Partners has agreed to make a substantial investment by subscribing for A$5M at $0.12 per share.

We have also executed significant project milestones this quarter. The completion of our CCP Mining Restart Study confirmed the CCP is a low-risk, low-cost operation with a short payback period. Additionally, we finalised the maiden Wallace North Reserve.

Thanks to the hard work of our Mining Operations Team, and following some cost cutting and improvements to management control and reporting processes, we are prepared and ready to deliver on our Cloncurry Copper Project Mining Restart Plan with mining expected to commence at Wallace North in Q4 FY24.

We are also committed to developing the Vero Resource at our Mt Oxide Project into our next mine. This quarter, we progressed the re-estimation of the Vero Resource and mine optimisation studies. We look forward to announcing these Q4 2024."

Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from True North Copper, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

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