BKM feasibility work proves positive

Asiamet Resources has made further progress in feasibility work at the Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) Copper Project in Indonesia. Metallurgical test work programs are well advanced and results have been received for crushing test work for five different types of ore.

These tests have shown that BKM ore types will require minimal crushing, that there will be relatively low wear rates on metal components and that overall the ore has a low crushing energy requirement.

Asiamet aims to develop a 25,000 tonnes/annum heap leach copper mine at the BKM deposit in Central Kalimantan.

Asiamet has concluded that the processing facility at BKM will be conventional and that there will be no need for equipment to handle hard or very hard materials. This is expected to provide a favourable capital cost outcome for the BKM crushing facilities.

PT Lorax Indonesia, a subsidiary of Lorax Environmental Services, Canada, was commissioned by Asiamet to conduct an initial geochemical investigation of the BKM deposit. The study assessed the potential for metal leaching and/or acid rock drainage from both waste rock and ore at the project site. An integrated characterisation program has been completed and findings reported by Lorax.

The assessment will feed into the development of a geo-environmental model which will assist the development of waste and water management plans and help guide material handling strategies to minimise the environmental impact of future mining operations.

Collectively, the results of the Phase I geochemical assessment support the PEA assumptions that the mineralogy of the BKM heap leach feed material will be acid generating and limit the need for acid importation to support the processing activities on-site. This is considered a favourable outcome for the operating and capital cost requirements at the heap leach facility.

The company is planning a Phase II geochemical assessment, as the project development advances. Future studies will establish the range of drainage chemistries associated with the BKM materials as well as additional kinetic test work and mineralogical assessment. Detailed waste and water management plans will be developed to ensure protection of water resources and incorporated into the feasibility study and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the project.

“While there remains considerable work to be done, the highly positive results generated from this initial phase of our detailed metallurgical test work program, coupled with the excellent grade and continuity established in our resource evaluation drilling to date, highlights the potential for development of a high quality medium scale copper mine at BKM,” said chief executive Tony Manini.

“The feasibility study is a critical de-risking phase for the BKM project and in order to meet the expectations of all our key stakeholder groups, including financiers, it is critically important that all study areas are completed to industry high standards.”