The South Africa-based miner Harmony Gold has announced that the Wafi-Golpu gold and copper deposit in Papua New Guinea could support a mine worth almost 10 billion US dollars.
Harmony, which is equal partner with Australia's Newcrest Mining in a joint venture to develop the Morobe province deposit, says this resource could provide up to 560,000 gold ounces and 335,000 tonnes of copper annually.
The mine has an expected 26-year life and will cost 4 point 85 billion US dollars to bring to production with a projected start-up in 2019.
Mining.com reports Harmony Gold as saying it will embark on a feasibility study next year with a focus on enhancing gold recovery.
The company says discussions with local landowners are ongoing.
PNG's government has the option to take a 30% stake in the Wafi-Golpu mine at any time ahead of the start of production.