Tests beef up SA copper potential for Coda

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Drilling at Coda Minerals’ Emmie Bluff prospect in South Australia.
Camera IconDrilling at Coda Minerals’ Emmie Bluff prospect in South Australia. Credit: File

Coda Minerals has received encouraging metallurgical test results showing exceptional recoveries above 99 per cent from a concentrate sample taken at its Emmie Bluff copper-cobalt deposit in South Australia.

The company says the results show the potential for lower-cost on-site production of high-value goods from Coda’s Elizabeth Creek copper project, including the Emmie deposit, that can be sold into the electric vehicle and battery markets.

A sample graded at about 12 per cent copper, 0.9 per cent cobalt and 2.5 per cent zinc, subjected to a 72-hour leach test using the Albion Process, returned final extractions of 99.6 per cent copper, 99.4 per cent cobalt and 99.8 per cent zinc.

Coda argues if the process is applied at Elizabeth Creek, it will enable the company to produce value-added products such as copper cathode and cobalt sulphate.

The Albion Process is an oxygenated leach technology that has a lower capital cost and is relatively easier to operate than conventional pressure oxidisation.

The process was developed by Mount Isa Mines, now Glencore, in the mid-1990s and launched publicly in 2005. The key difference is in the fine grinding the leach material is subjected to.

Coda’s sample was ground to ensure 80 per cent of the mass passed 10 microns before being analysed by Albion Process experts, Core Resources in Queensland.

Coda says the process also tolerates a wider range of concentrate grades, that may be valuable given the diverse sources of mineralisation expected at Elizabeth Creek, with mill feed potentially being sourced from at least three deposits.

We think Elizabeth Creek has the potential to become a major producer of critical future minerals and the ability to sell value-added products like copper cathode or cobalt sulphate – which has historically sold at a substantial premium to LME cobalt – represents a significant boost to the project.

Coda Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Chris Stevens

Though Coda says the results are extremely encouraging, its goal is to maximise the project’s value by carefully considering the economic impact of its choices, including what its final product should be.

The Elizabeth Creek copper project is 100km south of BHP’s Olympic Dam mine, 15km from BHP’s Oak Dam West project and 50km west of OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper-gold project.

Coda recently extended its Emmie deposit more than 900m north after recent surface step-out drill hole discovered multiple zones of visible copper sulphide mineralisation.

The resource at Emmie Bluff recorded 43 million tonnes going 1.3 per cent copper, 470 parts per million cobalt and 11 gram per tonne silver.

The company says it analysing alternative mining methods at Emmie Bluff and expects to identify two preferred choices for the upcoming scoping study.

Coda Minerals says whilst a decision is yet to be made on adopting the Albion Process at the site, the results represent a significant boost to the project.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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