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The Peak mine in New South Wales. Image: Aurelia Metals

Aurelia Metals has received regulatory approval to extend the life of its Peak gold and base metals operations up until 2035.

The New South Wales Government has issued development consent for the New Cobar Complex, a State Significant Development (SSD) that amalgamates the existing approved underground mining of the Chesney and Jubilee deposits, and development of new underground workings at the Great Cobar and Gladstone deposits.

The approval allows the establishment of a new underground mine at the Great Cobar copper-gold deposit, increasing the company’s exposure to a critical, future-facing commodity experiencing significant demand and record prices.

The Great Cobar Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) released in January supported the development of a new satellite mine based on initial mining at Great Cobar with a maiden 840,000 tonne Ore Reserve to offset mininq depletion at Peak.

The PFS also showed mining Great Cobar could deliver 2.3 million tonnes to the Peak mine’s process plant over a nominal five-year production period to produce hiqh-quality copper gold concentrate and gold silver dore.

The investment of $65 million in the underground mine delivers economic benefits to the Central West NSW region, including sustaining 400 -plus jobs at the Peak operations and an additional 140 jobs during the construction phase.

Aurelia anticipates it will commence development of the Great Cobar exploration drive in mid-2022.

Aurelia chief executive officer and managing director Dan Clifford said the company had reached a critical milestone in its strategy to optimise its assets through extending mine lives, as well as positioning itself as ‘copper-ready’ — a commodity that will be the foundation in a global shift to towards a decarbonised society.

“Our team has done a great job In bringing the project online at a time where copper prices are collecting more than US$9000 per tonne. We are also excited by the fact Auerlia is one of the only producers in the region to bring a new copper deposit into production in just two years’ time — a catalyst that wiII deliver significant value for our shareholders and stakeholders, in particular the communities where we operate,” he said.