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A TruScan of CuMo ore sorting potential

Metal Tech News - May 8, 2024

Idaho Copper is utilizing Veracio's digital ore scanning tech to accurately relog drill core in preparation for updated mine study.

As the next step in its goal of providing a domestic source of copper to meet the United States' growing demand for this energy transition metal, Idaho Copper Corp. is leveraging Veracio's TruScan technology to digitally analyze more than 60,000 feet (18,290 meters) of core in preparation for ore sorting studies at its CuMo copper-molybdenum-silver project in Idaho.

Lying about 12 miles north of Idaho City, CuMo hosts 2.27 billion metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 0.08% (3.81 billion pounds) copper, 0.06% (1.55 billion lb) molybdenum, and 2.5 grams per metric ton (165.5 million ounces) silver.

A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) completed in 2020 outlined plans for a mine at CuMo that would produce 84 million lb of copper, 43 million lb of molybdenum, and 3.57 million oz of silver annually for 28 years.

The PEA identified ore sorting as a means of significantly improving the economics of a future CuMo mine by reducing the mill size and increasing ore grades ahead of processing.

An increasingly popular means of lowering the operating costs and environmental footprint at mines, ore sorting utilizes various sensing technologies to identify whether individual rocks are mineralized or not. Unmineralized rocks are ejected ahead of the mill, which results in higher-grade ore being processed and less tailings being produced.

Visual observations indicate that the copper-molybdenum-silver mineralization is hosted in only about 15 to 20% of the rock within the deposit at CuMo.

Idaho Copper is utilizing TruScan to more definitively identify the mineralized and unmineralized rock within the deposit ahead of preparing an updated PEA that incorporates ore sorting technology into the mine plan.

"The ultimate goal of this exercise is to reduce the overall mill size and significantly increase mill feed grades, which the company expects will translate into lower capital costs and higher profitability for the project," the company penned in a statement.

Veracio

In addition to the XRF scanner, TruScan also takes high-resolution photos of the core as it passes through the scanner.

A TruScan for ore sorting

Developed for Veracio, an orebodies technology company spun out of the highly regarded Boart Longyear Group in 2023, TruScan is a mobile unit that utilizes sophisticated software and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanning equipment to quickly provide accurate and high-resolution data from drill core.

In addition to the XRF scanner, which uses X-ray as a non-destructive means of determining the quantities of various metals, TruScan also takes high-resolution photos of the core as it passes through the scanner.

A mobile unit that fits within a trailer about the size of a cargo van, this on-site drill core scanning technology is significantly more accurate, consistent, and faster when compared to manual core logging.

Where TruScan really excels is in providing a comprehensive view of the mineralization within an orebody, empowering mining companies to optimize their extraction strategies, which is how Idaho Copper plans to use it.

By accurately identifying the characteristics of the rock that carries the copper, molybdenum, and silver within the CuMo orebody, the company can refine the parameters of the ore sorting technology to be used.

Once the TruScan analysis is complete, Idaho Copper will select bulk core samples for detailed metallurgical and ore sorting studies. The results from these studies will be incorporated into an updated PEA that is currently slated for completion around the end of the year.

This advancement of a large copper project in Idaho comes at a time when there is a growing need for new supplies of this metal critical to the energy transition.

"BHP's recent bid for Anglo American PLC is a signal that the biggest players in the mining world are positioning themselves for a different world, where copper plays a starring role in the green economy," said Idaho Copper CFO Robert Scannell. "We are excited to be advancing the CuMo project in such a compelling environment."

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 16 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.

 

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