PanAust managing director Dr Fred Hess revealed this during the PNG Mining and Petroleum conference in Port Moresby.
“If you look at the Frieda River project, it is quite a large resources, by no means closed off,” Hess said.
“There is plenty of potential there, but essentially there is 17 million tonnes of copper crude metal in the ground.
“He said there were four deposits although geologists believed that there were more opportunities.
“But with that much of mineral resources, they are looking forward to operating.
“So the focus really is about using that resource base to develop the project.
“For us to develop the project with resources of that scale, it is important that we get the project up and running.
“The project at present is a joint venture between PanAust and Highlands Pacific.
“When the project moves forward, the Government of Papua New Guinea has got an opportunity to take up 30 per cent.
“If they do that, PanAust would dilute to 55 per cent and Highlands Pacific to 15 percent. We are now on the final stage of doing the cost estimates.”
He said project when developed would be big that will benefit the people along the Sepik and Frieda rivers.
“As we are working towards developing the mine, we hope the project will greatly benefit the locals as well as the State,” Hess said.
“And it will also create employment opportunity for locals.”