Rio Tinto: New Estimates of Ore Reserves & Mineral Resources May Limit Argyle Mine Life

Rio Tinto

Releasing its annual report for 2017, Rio Tinto has confirmed that with current revisions in the estimates of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources, operations at the Argyle Mine in Australia will definitely continue up to 2020, but that further “opportunities to increase reserve estimates” and “extend the operational life” are “subject to technical and financial performance”.

The report confirmed the earlier statements about “significant changes in estimates of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources” at the mine.

It said that during 2017, estimated Argyle Ore Reserves decreased by 13Mt from 29Mt to 16Mt, which included depletion of almost 5Mt due to production activities in 2017, with the balance being due to “a more conservative view on future production performance, grade and economic shut-off criteria”.

Rio clearly stated that the remaining reserves “underpin the operation until 2020, with opportunities to increase reserve estimates and extend the operational life subject to technical and financial performance.

It added that “following further reviews of resource development potential, and with the reduction in the Argyle Ore Reserve and the limited remaining mine life, the other mineralised deposits at Argyle do not demonstrate economic prospects and are not scheduled for production. As such, Argyle Mineral Resources, exclusive of Ore Reserves, decreased from 15Mt to 0Mt”.

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