SANTIAGO, Chile Partners PLACER DOME (51%), BEMA GOLD (24%) and ARIZONA STAR (15%) are updating the feasibility study for the Cerro Casale project, thought to be one of the world's largest undeveloped gold and copper deposits. According to a 2000 study, the Cerro Casale deposit contains 25.4 million oz of gold and 6.4 billion lb of copper. It could produce 130,000 tonnes of copper and 975,000 oz of gold annually for 18 years. Cash production costs should be under US$100/oz Au after copper credits. The updated study will be ready in March 2004.
The project is operated by Compania Minera Casale (CMC), which has secured water rights, environmental approval and mining licences. CMC is in talks with lenders to finance mine development. When the go-ahead is given, Placer Dome will arrange up to $1.3 billion of project financing and begin construction.
Placer Dome's man on the scene is Felipe Ruiz in Santiago at 56-2-370-5502.