True North Copper (TNC) has approved the Cloncurry copper project mining restart plan to combine the Great Australia Mine Reserve (GAM) and the Wallace North Reserve into a single mining operation.

The Australian mining company’s decision follows recent positive exploration and development outcomes across the GAM and Wallace North.

The single mining operation, dubbed the Cloncurry Copper Project (CCP), is located in northwest Queensland and hosts high reserves of both copper and gold present.

TNC will announce the mining plans after the completion of an updated Great Australia Mine Reserve and the maiden Wallace North Reserve, which are expected in early 2024.

True North Copper managing director Marty Costello said: “Over the past six months, thanks to the tremendous efforts of our operational and technical teams, we have reached a point where the TNC Board can confidently commit to restart mining at our Cloncurry Copper Project.

“As shown in the initial GAM Reserve announcement, the fully permitted project presents an opportunity for a low capital expenditure and cash-generative opportunity.”

TNC’s decision to combine both Great Australia Mine and Wallace North into the CCP was supported by the company’s internal management presentations on project economics.

Wallace North is a fully permitted operation that showed multiple gold and copper high-grade zones in Exceptional Advanced Grade Control (AGC) drilling results.

The Australian mining company is currently preparing to update the Wallace North resource model to include results from the AGC drilling.

In addition, the Great Australia Mine Reserve is in the process of being updated, based on results from recently completed drilling programmes.

TNC completed the upgrading of the GAM SX plant within budget, with copper sulphate production currently underway.

The Mining Restart Study will enable oxide and sulphide mining from open pits, located at GAM and Wallace North, with plans to begin initial mining in early 2024.

As part of the CCP Mining Restart plan, an update to the Ore Reserve Statement for Great Australia and an Initial Reserve Statement for Wallace North Projects is expected in early 2024.

TNC is expected to execute the Cloncurry sulphide ore processing and offtake agreement, secure project financing and Environmental permits, and engage mining contractors.

Costello added: “TNC will release an update on project economics for the expanded CCP on completion of the updated Great Australia Mine Reserve and the maiden Wallace North Reserve in early 2024.

“We also plan to reinvest expected free cash flows into the further exploration and development of what we believe to be one of Australia’s most promising Critical Mineral Copper Projects – the Mt Oxide Project.”