Castillo Copper Ltd (ASX:CCZ) (LON:CCZ) (FRA:7OR) is focusing its strategic intent on taking the next step at Big One Deposit within Mt Oxide Project in northwest Queensland’s world-class Mt Isa copper-belt and is starting to prepare the groundwork to potentially recommence mining operations.

The move is aimed at capitalising on strong results from Big One to date and highly favourable forecast global demand-supply dynamics for copper, with potential supply bottlenecks maintaining upward pressure on the London Metals Exchange (LME) price.

Castillo’s geology consultant is expected to shortly complete modelling an inaugural JORC-compliant resource for Big One and the board is firming up plans to apply for a mining lease.

Step-up strategic intent

Castillo Copper managing director Simon Paull said: “The combination of excellent, high-grade assay results and buoyant global demand for copper means the board is prepared to step up its strategic intent for Big One Deposit.

“We are highly optimistic that the next phase of planned exploratory work has the potential to further extend known mineralisation and build out this high-grade shallow copper system.

“Consequently, the board believes it is prudent to start preparing the groundwork to potentially recommence mining operations.”

Recommencing mining operations

The prevailing favourable outlook for the global copper market – based on both near-term and longer-term drivers – has prompted Castillo’s board to re-shape its strategic intent for Big One Deposit to capitalise on this opportunity.

CCZ’s board is also cognisant of the improving fundamentals for the global cobalt market, as the recent drilling campaign also verified the apparent presence of ore-grade cobalt mineralisation at Big One.

The starting point is to firm up plans to apply for a new mining lease, ahead of Castillo’s geology consultant releasing an inaugural JORC-compliant resource.

Big One’s fundamental strengths

The arguments in favour of taking this assertive stance are compelling, as Big One Deposit already has several high-quality fundamental strengths, including:

  • A known high-grade shallow copper system that was previously mined in 1997 – producing 4,400 tonnes supergene ore, averaging 3.5% copper – via several open pits;
  • Recent and historical drilling campaigns that have produced exceptional high-grade intercepts;
  • Excellent location in the world-class Mt Isa copper-belt, a well-established mining region with solid infrastructure and ready access to a skilled labour pool; and
  • Several third-party processors are already in the region with excess milling capacity that Castillo’s management team are now actively canvassing.

Exploration plans

Moving forward, further work is planned to extend known mineralisation and Big One Deposit’s potential scale, starting with an induced polarisation (IP) survey to identify incremental test-drill targets.

In addition, once ground conditions improve, post the wet-season, drilling will resume at Big One Deposit before moving to Arya Prospect, which has an interpreted 130 metres thick potential massive sulphide anomaly (1,500 metres by 450 metres) that is highly prospective for copper mineralisation.

Next steps

Going forward, Castillo Copper plans to release the inaugural JORC-compliant resource and updates on the next phase of exploration.