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Jiama Copper Gold Polymetallic Mine

The Jiama project is one of the largest copper gold polymetallic mines in China. The Jiama project is located within the Gangdise Copper Metallogeny Belt in Central Tibet, China and is approximately 60 kilometers east of Lhasa City along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway. The Jiama project is a large scale polymetallic deposit consisting of copper, molybdenum, gold, silver, lead and zinc.

The Company acquired the Jiama project on December 1, 2010 concurrent with the closing of its initial public offering and listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. Commercial production began at the Jiama project in September 2010.

Phase I development was completed at the Jiama project in 2010 and included two open pits, a processing plant and an underground ore transportation system. The Jiama current processing 6,000 capacity is tonnes of ore per day.

Phase II expansion started commercial production on July 1, 2018. Jiama Mine’s Phase II consists of two series, Series I and Series II, each having a mineral processing capacity of 22,000 tpd.  The full design capacity of ore processing at Jiama Mine will increase to 50,000 tpd from the previous capacity of 28,000 tpd once Series II reaches full design capacity.

Copper Production

 


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Highlights

  • Open-pit and underground mines operation
  • A large, skarn-type and porphyry copper polymetallic deposit with well-developed hornfels-type mineralization located in the Gangdise Copper Metallogeny Belt
  • Principal product: Copper with gold and silver credits
  • Commercial production of Jiama Phase II Expansion commenced July 3, 2018
  • With Jiama continues to ramp up operations at Phase II expansion to full design capacity, the copper production in 2019 is expected to reach to approximately 132 million pounds.
  • Expected life of mine: 35 years
  • According to the feasibility study, production is expected to grow to 176 million pounds of copper per year when reach full design processing capacity

RECENT UPDATES:

2018 Financial Performance Snapshot

Jiama Mine Three months ended
December 31,
Year ended
December 31,
  2018 2017 2018 2017
Copper sales (US$ in millions) 87.87 39.81 285.68 117.12
Copper produced (pounds) 39,046,970 32,859,328 121,309,024 79,021,963
Copper sold (pounds) 36,735,800 18,370,737 117,462,608 56,909,435
Gold produced (ounces) 22,150 17,893 70,262 47,710
Gold sold (ounces) 21,941 12,756 66,545 40,294
Silver produced (ounces) 987,628 808,457 3,212,452 2,365,578
Silver sold (ounces) 856,090 635,746 3,009,074 1,884,516
         
Total production cost  (US$) of copper per pound after by-products credits 1.82 1.72 2.08 1.36
         
Cash production cost (US$) of copper per pound after by-products credits 1.19 1.17 1.36 0.94
  •  For 2018 Q4, Copper production from the Jiama Mine increased by 19% to 17,711 tonnes (approximately 39.0 million pounds) from 14,905 tonnes (approximately 32.9 million pounds) for the same period in 2017.
  • For 2018 year-end, Copper production from the Jiama Mine increased by 54% to 55,025 tonnes (approximately 121.3 million pounds) from 35,844 tonnes (approximately 79.0 million pounds) for the same period in 2017. 

2018 Production Update


Jiama Mine
Three months ended December 31, Year ended December 31,
  2018 2017 2018 2017
Ore processed (tonnes) 3,227,260 1,787,698 10,431,401 5,033,396
Average copper ore grade (%) 0.78 0.90 0.71 0.87
Copper recovery rate (%) 78 93 75 82
Average gold ore grade (g/t) 0.43 0.47 0.39 0.47
Gold recovery rate (%) 55 67 53 63
Average silver ore grade (g/t) 19.59 21.94 17.91 25.95
Silver recovery rate (%) 54 64 53 56
  • According to the mining plan for the Phase II expansion, the Jiama Mine began to produce low grade ore from the open pit mine. 
  • The Company expected the average ore grade to be lower than previous years which used higher grade ore from underground mining only. 
  • Production cost was also expected to be higher since the commencement of commercial production of Phase II due to the lower grade of ore.
  • During 2018, metal recovery rates were also lower compared to the same period in 2017 due to presence of the oxide ore from the open pit mine. Recovery rates are expected to increase in 2019 as the ratio of oxide ore gradually decreases.

Mineral Resources Estimate

Jiama Project - Cu, Mo, Pb, Zn ,Au, and Ag Mineral Resources under NI 43-101
Reported at a 0.3% Cu Equivalent Cut off grade*, as of December 31, 2018

Class Quantity
Mt
Cu % Mo % Pb % Zn % Au g/t Ag g/t Cu Metal
(kt)
Mo Metal
(kt)
Pb Metal
(kt)
Zn Metal
(kt)
Au Moz Ag Moz
Measured 94.9 0.39 0.04 0.04 0.02 0.08 5.44 371 34.2 41.8 22.4 0.245 16.595
Indicated 1,369.1 0.41 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.11 5.93 5,590 463 732 460 4.762 261.145
M+I 1,463.9 0.41 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.11 5.90 5,961 497.4 773.7 482.4 5.008 277.740
Inferred 406.1 0.30 0.00 0.10 0.00 0.10 5.1 1,247 123 311 175 1.3 66.9

Mineral Reserves Estimate

Jiama Project Statement of NI 43-101 Mineral Reserve Estimate as of December 31, 2018

Class Quantity
Mt
Cu % Mo % Pb % Zn % Au g/t Ag g/t Cu Metal
(kt)
Mo Metal
(kt)
Pb Metal
(kt)
Zn Metal
(kt)
Au Moz Ag Moz
Proven 20.8 0.61 0.05 0.05 0.03 0.21 8.99 126.4 9.5 10.3 6.9 0.140 6.026
Probable 398.4 0.56 0.03 0.13 0.08 0.18 11.21 2,427.9 128.2 548.2 317.3 2.285 143.574
P+P 419.2 0.61 0.03 0.13 0.08 0.18 11.10 2,554.3 137.8 558.5 324.2 2.425 149.600

Notes: all Mineral Reserves have been estimated in accordance with the JORC code and have been reconciled to CIM standards as prescribed by the NI 43-101.

Click here for 2018 Annual Report

2018 Company Copper Production Highlights

  • Copper production was approximately 121.3 million pounds from the Jiama Mine, representing an increase of approximately 54% compared to 2017. This exceeds more than 21% of the previously forecasted production guidance of 100 million pounds disclosed at the beginning of 2018.

Health, Safety & Environment: 

  • Safety performance: as of September 30, 2018, achieved 187 days zero fatality rate for million-ton production, zero major equipment accident rate, zero major fire and explosion accident rate, and zero major traffic accident rate

LOOKING FORWARD:

Exploration

  • In 2017 the Company developed an exploration program to test for structural controls, extensions of the known mineralize zones and other targeted zones.  The 2017-2018 programs called for 6,920 +/- meters involving nine surface drill sites and 10,155 +/- meters involving fourteen +/- underground drill sites. The drilling program ended at fifteen dill sites and 10,871 +/-meters, some projects are terminated in advance given natural condition. Core is being logged and sent for assay.
  • The evaluation of 2017-2018 exploration is expected to be completed in Q2 of 2020. The Company plans to drill approximately 35,000 meters in 2019 and 2020.

Guidance Highlights for 2019:

  • The Company anticipates production of approximately 132 million pounds of copper in 2019.
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