Not even last-minute technical faults could prevent Aeris Resources chairman Andre Labuschagne from delivering his first ever speech at Diggers & Dealers today, even if it was beamed into the auditorium from his residence in Queensland in the wake of recent Covid-induced hard border closures.
On the same day Mr Labuschagne delivered his address, Aeris (ASX: AIS) announced to the market a raft of positive updates including plans to develop three new productions sources to extend the mine life of its Tritton copper operations in central western New South Wales with $50 million of exploration committed, and an extension of mine life and mineral resource at its Cracow gold mine in Queensland with its associated exploration budget also notched up.
“What a 12 months we’ve had. Since we bought Cracow, the discovery of the Constellation deposit which keeps growing and getting better… and then achieving guidance at the end of July and ended up debt-free after more than nine years, that was a big milestone for us,” he told delegates today.
“We also released our reserves this morning; we managed to maintain and slightly better the reserves at Cracow, and then a significant increase of 30 per cent of resources for that operation at the end of the first 12 months.
“When we bought Cracow, we raised funds at 3c and we’re currently trading at 24c; that was all growth on the back of the acquisition of Cracow which immediately brought cash into the business, but also the Constellation discovery in November has been spectacular.”
Mr Labuschagne said looking forward, annual copper production at Tritton will be lifting and with the company’s current cash position, Aeris has an opportunity to bring better quality tonnage into the fold.
“As we announced this morning, we’re committing to spending $50 million bringing three new production sources into the mix in FY22,” he said.
“We’ve already started the Budgerigar deposit, we’re going start development of the Avoca underground mine around the start of FY23, and then there’s the cut-back of the Murrawombie open pit.
“Adding to that, we’ve got a range of exploration projects, including Constellation and Kurrajong, which will be subject to a $15 million exploration program in FY22.”