Xanadu Mines (ASX:XAM) is partnering up with China’s Zijin Mining Group, a global leading copper producer, to develop the Kharmagati copper-gold project in Mongolia’s Omnogovi Province.
That same province is home to Rio Tinto’s mammoth Oyu Tolgoi mine.
Xanadu recently published its keystone scoping study backing the project, encouraging the board to move to a pre-feasibility study expected for delivery in early 2024.
Worth noting, Xanadu and Zijin are bringing an ESG bent to the region. Xanadu has published a second sustainability report in the June quarter.
That report has determined a low environmental risk profile attached to the project.
It further notes the acreage is bolstered by existing and established infrastructure on-site; including rail, power transmission, and available water assets.
Since 2018, Xanadu has grown Kharmagati's resource to 8Moz of gold and 3Mtn of copper.
Currently, mineralisation remains open in all directions on-site and ongoing drilling is underway to further define mineral resources.
A four year payback is expected for the mine with initial capital expenditure valued at US$690m for an open pit development and associated processing infrastructure.
The internal rate of return for Kharmagati is tipped at 20% after tax across a thirty year mine life.
Xanadu and Zijin formed the project partnership back in April this year.
Under an initial agreement, Zijin is to invest in Xanadu at the corporate and operational level.
It commenced this in April with the acquisition of 139m shares. Zijin has since picked up a 9.98% shareholding in the company.
Two further placements are slated in the near future, which will see Zijin increase its stake to a 19.99% interest—at the same time the partnership creates a 50/50 JV in Khuiten Metals, currently owned outright by Xanadu.
Khuiten Metals holds a 76.5% interest in the Kharmagati project; and Zijin will pay Xanadu US$35m for half of Khuiten.
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