Aeris Resources Ltd (ASX:AIS) has maintained its position for growth by focusing on its copper and gold strategy and continuing to deliver positive cash flows, enhanced by the Tritton Copper Project in NSW transitioning into the next phase of development and boosting production at Cracow Gold Project in Queensland.
Following years of corporate restructuring (2013-2018), Aeris has positioned itself for growth (2018-2020) through pursuing organic M&A opportunities and conducting due diligence on multiple targets.
The underground copper mine has been in operation since 2005 with more than 320,000 tonnes of copper produced.
Aeris is currently mining the Tritton and Murrawombie underground mines which host a deposit with more than 20 million tonnes of copper and a more than 10 million tonnes copper dominant deposit, respectively.
The company is in the process of extending its mine plan, which comprises of:
- Triton and Murrawombie extensions;
- Developing budgerigar through access from Tritton;
- Prioritising higher grade Avoca Tank U/G into production;
- Potential open pits; and
- Expediting Kurrajong drilling to mineral resource status and concept study.
Positive drilling results
Aeris recently intersected an 18.8-metre interval containing disseminated and banded sulphides (predominantly pyrite with lesser chalcopyrite) at the Anomaly K prospect within the Tritton tenement.
The discovery of a significant sulphide intersection at Anomaly K validates the prospectivity within the underexplored northern half of the Tritton tenement package.
Drilling was designed to test a bedrock conductor initially detected through an airborne electromagnetic (EM) survey and follow-up ground moving loop EM (MLTEM) survey.
At the time executive chairman Andre Labuschagne said the intersection was a potentially exciting discovery for the company and while still in early days he is ‘very encouraged’ that the drill hole intersected mineralisation in the target zone.
Samples for assay will be sent to the laboratory following completion of logging and results are expected early in 2021.
A Down Hole EM (DHEM) survey will begin after the completion of hole TAKD001 with follow-up drilling also set to take place.
Cracow Gold Operations
Cracow is a high-grade, low-cost gold mine.
Aeris acquired the Cracow Gold Project from Evolution Mining in July 2020 for $60 million and has already seen the upside potential with impressive exploration results at and near the mine.
It hosts a high-grade, low-cost gold mine in Queensland with a proven operating history, including having produced more than 1.4 million ounces over its life of more than 15 years.
Strong operating performances in the first couple of months of Aeris ownership saw the company make a $7.5 million debt repayment a month ahead of schedule.
At the time, Labuschagne said: “Operational delivery, mine life extensions and debt reduction are our priorities for FY21.
“Strong cashflows in the first two months of our ownership of Cracow has enabled this early debt repayment, whilst still maintaining financial flexibility to continue investing in our operations.”
The company has a $13 million exploration budget over the first two years of ownership which it plans on spending towards:
- Increasing confidence of known mineralisation at Roses Pride, Klondyke and the Royal and Golden Plateau targets;
- Near-mine conceptual targets at Killarney extensions and Kenneth and Roses Pride Deeps; and
- Exploration in ‘new spaces’ looking for the next big discovery.
The company holds a 70% interest and is manager of the project through a joint venture with Argonaut Resources NL.
Torrens is on the Eastern Gawler Craton which hosts several large-scale deposits and world-class copper-gold operations such as the Olympic Dam, Carrapateena and Prominent Hill.
An approval has been granted to drill up to 70 deep diamond drill holes and a passive seismic survey is planned for FY21.
Path forward with multiple value catalysts in FY21.
In FY21 Aeris is forecasting to produce between 23,500 and 24,500 tonnes of copper from its Tritton Copper Operation and between 70,000 and 75,000 ounces of gold from its Cracow operation.