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Feasibility study looks at Frieda River deposits

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov, 17, 2010) – A pre-feasibility study for the massive Frieda River copper and gold project in Papua New Guinea shows it would take an investment of US$5.3 billion to get the project up and running.

Swiss mining giant Xstrata Copper is fast-tracking Frieda River.

Its 1,500 page pre-feasibility study says the project would produce 264,000 tons of copper and 379,000 ounces of gold a year.

A mine life of at least 20 years is expected, with low operating costs.

John Gooding, The Managing Director of junior partner Highlands Pacific, says that places Frieda River in the top 15 copper mines in the world.

A total investment of US$5.3 billion dollars would be needed, US$803 million of which would be used to build a hydro-electricity plant.

Mine tailings and waste rock would be placed into a specially built reservoir rather than into the sensitive Sepik River system.

A full feasibility study is due January 2012.

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