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True North Copper

Overview

True North Copper ((ASX:TNC) is entering a transformative and exciting phase as we become Australia’s next copper producer. It’s 2024 and we’re ready to mine our Cloncurry copper project – low-cost, low-risk, fully funded and permitted.

Our next mine is the Vero resource at our Mt Oxide project. We are committed to developing and understanding this phenomenally mineralised project. Exploration and mining studies are underway.

Copper demand is rising, in a market of diminishing supply. The global surge in artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, decarbonisation initiatives, and broader macro trends is intensifying the demand for copper.

TNC is ready.

Company Highlights

TNC is preparing to become Australia’s next copper producer.

TNC’s two principal assets are located in northwest Queensland, Australia – a Tier 1 Jurisdiction:

Cloncurry Copper Project (CCP) – IOCG and ISCG copper-gold deposits proposed for open pit mining operations, with extensive surrounding exploration tenure.Mt Oxide Project (Mt Oxide) – IOCG high-grade, globally significant, copper-cobalt-silver deposit subject to re- optimisation studies, and exploration in surrounding tenure.

Cloncurry Copper Project (CCP)

Wallace North Mine preparation and mobilisation. 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 CCP. CCP’s total reserves increased. TNC’s Cloncurry Copper Project (CCP) total reserves currently include 4.7Mt probable ore reserves grading 0.80 percent copper and 0.13g/t gold, containing 37.5 kiloton of copper and 20.0koz of gold.

Figure: Cloncurry copper project and Cloncurry operations hub

Mt Oxide Project

Highly prospective and underexplored. Phenomenally mineralised system. Exploration results from TNC’s maiden diamond drill program across MT Oxide’s Vero Resource not only returned outstanding and globally significant grades but also showcase the expanding nature of the Vero high-grade ore body including: 66.50 metres @ 4.95 percent copper, 32.7g/t silver and 685 ppm cobalt from 234.00 metres[inc.] 20.60 metres @ 10.51percent copper, 63. g/t silver and 1,149 ppm cobalt from
234.60 metres and[inc.] 8.55 metres @ 6.03 percent copper, 51.6 g/t silver and 98 ppm cobalt from
290.15 metresVero Resource re-estimation and mining studies 2024.Vero Resource under tested to depth and along strike.Multiple exciting future exploration programs and high-priority potential targets along the 10 kilometres long mineralised trend that hosts Vero.

Figure: Cross-section of MOXD217 (10 metres clipping window) showing the location of geological and grade composites as well as the updated interpretation of copper grade domains based on the results from MOXD217

Funding and Strategic Partnerships

AU$42 million (US$28 million) 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 – US$18M (approximately AU$25.5 million) on 9 February 2024.Binding offtake and toll-milling agreements with Glencore International AG(Glencore) for 100 percent 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).

Figure: Visual representation of Vero Resource within surrounding Mt Isa Inlier.

TNC 2024 Exploration Program

Aggressive discovery strategy targeting transformative discoveries across TNC’s more than 850 sq km of tenure package within the Mt Isa Inlier.Significant potential for transformative discoveries of
copper-gold cobalt-silver) in three districts.Numerous high-quality copper-gold-cobalt-silver targets located with mineralised structural corridors within the eastern & western fold belts such as:Cloncurry Fault Corridor 🡪 Host to the GAM and Mt Norma ResourcesErnest Henry Corridor 🡪 Ernest Henry, E1 Camp and MonakoffMt Gordon Corridor 🡪 Capricorn Copper and VeroMt Roseby Corridor 🡪 Little Eva and Blackard.12.55 Mt @ 0.82 percent copper (indicated and inferred resources).) and multiple prospects located within a 30-kilometre radius of the company’s Cloncurry copper project represent near-term production advantage. Recent JV over highly prospective tenements with CMG deal increase TNC’s land position at the core of its Cloncurry copper project.TNC awarded the Queensland Government Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) Grant. The CEI grant will be used towards delivery of leading edge MIMDAS induced polarisation, resistivity and magnetotellurics geophysical surveys at the Mt Oxide. The exploration aims to identify massive and disseminated sulphide mineralisation and deliver an improved understanding of the large-scale structural architecture that controls mineralisation throughout the Mt Oxide exploration leases.

Figure: Summary of exploration and development pipeline across all TNC projects.

Projects

Cloncurry Copper Project

Our Cloncurry copper project (CCP) hosts iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and iron-sulphide-copper-gold (ISCG) deposits with extensive surrounding exploration tenure. It is built on a strong economic basis and low-risk cost structure.

The CCP currently incorporates two reserves where mining will commence including – the Wallace North maiden resource and the Great Australia mine reserve (GAM):

GAM includes GAM, Orphan Shear and Taipan deposits) totalling 4.7Mt grading 0.80 percent copper and 0.13g/t gold containing 37.5kt of copper and 20 koz of gold – upgrade to be announced mid-2024.Wallace North ore reserve totals 0.7Mt (probable) grading 1.01 percent copper and 0.46g/t gold for 6.8kt copper and 10 koz gold.

TNC’s CCP expansion is ongoing with exploration progressing and advanced projects in strategic locations surrounding the existing CCP operation, promising long-term growth prospects.

Our strategic partnerships, including a binding offtake and toll-milling agreements with Glencore International AG, supported by debt funding secured with Nebari, underscore our operational readiness and position TNC to capitalise on an extremely favourable copper market.

Mining operations will kick-off at the Wallace North open cut pit, targeting higher-grade ores (~1 percent copper) from surface mining. Ore will undergo primary crushing at the Cloncurry operations hub and the toll treatment facility, located within a 40km radius, with a predominant focus on sulphide ores.

All necessary permits for mining are secured across the CCP, bolstered by an established environmental monitoring network with a robust historical database.

TNC’s operational strategy involves a phased approach to mine development, with plans to commence mining operations in 2024 and manage capacity ramp-up throughout 2025.

Cloncurry Operations Hub

The Cloncurry operations hub is strategically located to the CCP’s four open pit deposits including: Great Australia, Orphan Shear, Taipan and Wallace North.

The COH is located 2 kilometres from the township of Cloncurry and provides essential infrastructure, technical systems and support to all of TNC’s project operations. An active oxide heap leach and solvent extraction (SX) processing plant, mine buildings, site administration facilities, workshops, open pit mine facilities, onsite explosive magazines, site storage, water management systems and existing site power supply are located at the COH.

Cloncurry Copper Project – Project Economics

Mining 4.8Mt of ore over an initial 4.6 year mine life, at a low strip ratio of 4.2, delivering 35kt copper and 29 koz gold contained metal (based on existing JORC reserves)Anticipated mine revenue of AU$367 million with free cash flow of AU$111 million, and a pre-tax NPV10 of AU$88 million, demonstrating strong operating economics at US$8,500/t copper price and US$1,850/oz gold price (0.7 AU$:USD exchange rate). Payback expected within six months post mining restart, driven by favourable commodity prices and low all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of US$2.65/lb copper. Low up front capex of AU$1.5 million leverages existing infrastructure, while peak operating expenditure is estimated at AU$2.2 million. Sulphide and oxide ore production – two copper products. copper sulphide (LoM approx. 90 percent) + copper sulphate (LoM approx. 10 percent).Mineral concentrate grade 22-26 percent copper (with gold/silver credits). Sulphide Ores more than88 percent expected recovery.Transitional Ores more than 77 percent expected recovery.Very low deleterious elements in mineral concentrate.

Cloncurry Copper Project – Exploration 2024

CCP expansion and exploration focused on rapid copper-gold-ore source growth.With more than 80 prospects located within a 30-kilometre radius of the CCP, TNC is focused on significant expansion and the exploration potential for additional copper-gold-cobalt-silver mineralisation to be brought into the production fold including large-scale company transformative major discoveries.Thanks to our successful 2023 Exploration Program we have identified through a systematic approach, and analysis at a mineral system scale, the following new targets:Cloncurry Copper Project – eight new drill targets at Greater Australian and Copperhead in new Induced Polarisation. Salebury and Rocklands South – Compelling untested geophysical anomalies in historic data. Mt Norma- untested surface anomalies and down plunge resource extension targets on mining lease within 30 kilometres of the Cloncurry operations hub. Wynberg, Notlor, Marimo Trend and Tanbah limited historic exploration significant copper-gold in surface sampling and drilling, limited testing.

Figure: High priority exploration targets at the CCP

Figures above: Anomalies generated from TNCs 2023 induced polarisation program and structural analysis of the GAM Project.

Mt Oxide Project

The Mt Oxide project hosts the Vero resource of 15.98 Mt @ 1.43 percent copper(measured, indicated and inferred) a Mt Isa style sediment-hosted copper-silver-cobalt system. Analogues include Capricorn copper and Mt Isa copper.

The Vero resource at our Mt Oxide project is our next mine. We are focused on understanding this phenomenally mineralised system.

Mt Oxide’s Vero Resource 2023 exploration program returned outstanding and globally significant grades. The program included our 2023 maiden drilling program across the Vero resource and results showcased the expanding nature of the Vero high-grade ore body.

During 2024, TNC will be exploring multiple, exciting high-priority exploration targets along a 10 kilometres mineralised trend that hosts Vero.

We will also be delivering during 2024 the Vero Resource re-estimation and mining optimisation and feasibility studies.

Vero Resource maiden drilling program

In 2023, TNC completed an initial 12-hole diamond drilling program at Mt Oxide designed to confirm historical high-grade intersections and test the depth and strike extensions to the existing Vero Resource.

2023 Vero resource drilling highlights included (* = Estimated True Width):

MOXD217 returned phenomenal results that placed the drill hole in the top globally ranked copper drill holes of 2023 including :

66.50 metres (48.00 metres*) @ 4.95 percent copper, 32.7 g/t silver and 685 ppm cobaltfrom 234 metres.11 metres (8.19 metres*) @ 3.06 percent copper, 34.2 g/t silver and 682 ppm cobalt from 357.50 metres.8.55 metres (8.55 metres*) @ 6.16 percent copper, 45.9 g/t silver and 140 ppm cobalt from 172.50 metres.

MOXD221 intercepted a wide interval of high-grade shallow dipping mineralisation as well as a second deeper intercept, providing indications of rapidly increasing grade and widths of mineralisation to the south including:

42.10 metres (41 metres*) @ 1.66 percent copper, 13.5 g/t silver and 1,083 ppm cobalt from 154.90 metres.[including] 4 metres (2.24 metres*) @ 7.65 percent copper, 57.3 g/t silver and 1,164 ppm cobalt from 191.20 metres.

MOXD226A returned three key zones of strong mineralisation including a broad interval of 69.95 metres and further intervals of up to 11.19 percent copper.

Highlights include:

69.95 metres (42.85 metres*) @ 1.91percent copper, 17.7g/t silver and 675 ppm cobalt from 224.55 metres [including] 9.65 metres (5.89 metres*) @ 2.74 percent copper, 24.1g/t silver and 993 ppm cobalt from 239.50 metres [including] 18.15 metres (11.07 metres*) @ 3.23 percent copper, 26.8g/t silver and 585 ppm cobalt from 276.35 metres 16.75 metres (16.75 metres*) @ 5.30 percent copper, 44- g/t silver and 120 ppm cobalt from 165.25 metres [including] 4.65 metres (4.65 metres*) @ 11.19 percent copper, 93.9g/t silver and 136 ppm cobalt from 172.55 metres

Figure: Location of geological and grade composites as well as the updated interpretation of copper grade domains based on the results from MOXD226A

Mt Oxide Discovery Strategy

TNC is committed to unlocking Mt Oxide’s underexplored high-quality targets.

Mt Oxide lies adjacent to a large crustal scale structure – the Mt Gordon Fault Zone. Splays off this structure (Dorman Fault) host Vero. Mt Oxide has evidence of large-scale fluid flow, big mineral system potential.Copper-silver-cobalt mineralisation interpreted to have been formed near surface and upper parts are preserved.Excellent depth potential of mineralisation in the Mt Oxide project.Limited systematic modern exploration outside of the Vero resource.Significant opportunity to apply leading-edge mineral exploration to build a larger copper inventory in a well-endowed mineral system.More than 10 kilometres trend along Dorman fault zone of intermittently outcropping gossanous / silica breccias, virtually no drilling, surface sampling or effective geophysics. Multiple untested targets with significant alteration-mineralisation footprints.No application of tried and tested geophysics or systematic surface rock chip geochemistry and mapping. Low cost highly effective exploration techniques to filter and prioritise drill targets.

Multiple exciting future exploration programs and high-priority potential targets along 10km long mineralised trend that hosts Vero including:

Aquila & Mt GordonIvena NorthCamp GossansCave CreekBig Oxide

Figure: Multiple exciting future exploration programs and high-priority potential targets along the 10-kilometre long mineralised trend that hosts Vero resource’s Mt Oxide project.

Management Team 

Marty Costello – Managing Director

Marty Costello is recognised as one of Australia’s leading project development and sustainability strategists across the resource sector, with more than 20 years of professional experience.

After working for several companies and government departments (domestic and international) managing, developing and implementing environment, sustainability and risk (ESR) programs and policies he established his own environmental consultancy – Northern Resource Consultants (NRC).

In the space of nine years, Costello developed NRC into an industry specialist with more than 25 employees focusing on environmental management and sustainability solutions for the resource sector. NRC delivered agile, best practice ESR strategies and multi-disciplinary environmental and sustainability services for clients like Evolution Mining, Futura, Sojitz, Adani, Red River Resources, CU River Mining, and others.

In 2018, NRC was acquired by SLR, a global leader in environmental and sustainability solutions. The acquisition facilitated considerable additional capability and geographic coverage to SLR’s existing mining and minerals in Asia Pacific business. During his consulting life, Costello was retained by Evolution Mining over an eight-year period to provide strategic project development, ESG advice to the board and executive management team.

Costello holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (environmental management) and Diploma of Applied Science.

Peter Brown – Chief Operating Officer

Peter Brown has held senior management roles in the resources sector, both domestically and internationally, including recent positions at Round Oak Minerals and Diatreme Resources where he oversaw project development and operations. Brown has diverse experience and an impressive track record that demonstrates his ability to successfully deliver projects and foster positive relationships with all project stakeholders.

He has managed discovery programs for gold, copper and chromite in South America, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, including government and community relations. He also drove improvements and provided training in mine geology, resource evaluation and mine technical services at prominent mines such as Mt Muro Gold Mine, George Fisher Mine and Peak Gold Mines. Additionally, Brown played a significant role in reviving abandoned satellite projects at Peak Gold Mines.

Other achievements include successfully re-permitting and constructing the 1-Moz Toka Tindung Gold Mine in Indonesia as director of Indonesian companies and general manager at Archipelago Resources; leading the permitting, engineering redesign and construction of the 0.8-Moz Mt Carlton Gold Mine in Queensland; the successful development of Mt Carlton and Pajingo projects, which contributed to the establishment of Evolution Mining; and recommissioning and developing several mining projects in the Mount Isa and Cloncurry region.

Rajesh Padmanabhan – Chief Financial Officer

Rajesh Padmanabhan is a highly skilled and experienced CPA-qualified accountant with expertise across a myriad of financial operations. He has many years of corporate governance experience as an executive team member across a variety of roles including as company secretary of an unlisted public company.

Throughout his career, Padmanabhan has held key finance management roles in mining and construction companies, including Constance Iron, Tablelands Mining Group, Barrick Australia (Porgera Operations) and Mastermyne Group (ASX:MYE).

Padmanabhan has more than 30 years’ experience managing company-wide financial operations, implementing streamlined financial processes, ensuring tax compliance and conducting financial analysis to support decision-making. His commitment to delivering results and his ability to navigate complex financial landscapes make him an integral part of the True North Copper team.

Padmanabhan is also an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and recently completed a certificate in governance and risk management from the Governance Institute of Australia.

Sven Sewell – Sustainability & Net Zero Manager

Sven Sewell has over 25 years’ experience working in a range of environmental fields, including environmental consulting, environmental regulation and within the industry.

For the 15 years prior to joining TNC, Sewell held senior environmental positions at several operating mines across northern Australia. At those operations, he was generally the most senior environment, responsible for all aspects of permitting, compliance, rehabilitation and general environmental management. Sewell’s experience in northern Australian mines includes several new and established gold, uranium and bauxite operations.

Sewell holds a BSc (with honours) in environmental science.

Mark Brown – General Manager, Cloncurry Operations

With more than 30 years of domestic and international mining industry experience, Mark Brown offers a comprehensive skill set grounded in practical resource sector execution and invaluable leadership experience. His career journey has been marked by a commitment to safety, operational excellence, and fostering positive work cultures.

Brown has held a variety of senior leadership operational roles throughout his career, overseeing various aspects of mining operations. He has extensive experience across all mining regulatory and compliance aspects and has expertise in health and safety management including emergency response, crisis management, contractor management, and comprehensive incident investigations.

Michelle Ellis – Cloncurry Projects Exploration Manager

Michelle Ellis retains over 15 years’ mineral exploration, resource and mining experience predominantly in iron-oxide-copper-gold deposits and terrains across South Australia and Northwest Queensland.

Over the past 11 years, she has actively explored a range of commodities and deposit styles throughout the Mount Isa Inlier.

Ellis has an MSc in economic geology, MSc in environmental management and BSc in applied science – geoscience, and is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Rhonda Freeman – Group Manager (Human Resources)

Rhonda Freeman has more than 18 years’ experience attracting top talent, fostering employee development and helping organisations develop safe and supportive work environments. She has worked extensively across the resource sector, including for large national-wide drilling companies.

Freeman has worked for mining companies across a variety of geological settings including brown coal, black coal, uranium, mineral sands and oil & gas. She brings a diverse skill set specific to the resource sector, having worked across all commercial aspects of drilling operations including as an exploration manager.

This post appeared first on investingnews.com

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