Santo Domingo / Copper and cobalt

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Santo Domingo is a high grade, fully permitted copper/cobalt project in Chile, owned and operated by Capstone Copper.

Stage

Development

Commodity

Copper and cobalt

Operator

Capstone Copper

Location

Chile

Royalty rate and type
2% NSR

Balance sheet classification
Royalty Intangible

What we own

The Group owns a 2.0% NSR royalty over the Santo Domingo project in Chile, owned and operated by Capstone Copper. The Company’s royalty area covers the highest copper grade portion of the mine plan which is expected to be mined during the initial six to seven years of production.

Operation

The Santo Domingo project is expected to be an open-pit copper mine with iron and gold production. It is owned by Capstone Copper and located in the Atacama region of Northern Chile, a well-established mining region, 35km north-east of Capstone Copper’s Mantoverde mine.

Average annual production is expected to be approximately 140Mlbs of copper, 4.2Kt of 65% pellet feed iron ore concentrate and 10.4Mlbs of cobalt. Total reserves are estimated to be 392Mt at 0.30% copper grade (as per the Capstone Copper Santo Domingo Project Technical Report) with an expected mine life of over 18 years.

Capstone Copper has also identified a meaningful cobalt opportunity that has the potential to turn Santo Domingo into one of the world’s largest and lowest cost cobalt producers. Cobalt production over the life of mine is forecast to total 10.4Mlbs per annum, the credits of which reduce the total mine’s C1 cash costs per pound of payable copper to $1.56 on a by-product basis.

Why we own it

Copper and cobalt are commodities that will be central to the energy transition. Capstone Copper has extensive experience constructing copper mines in Chile and there will be considerable cost efficiencies to be had by integrating with the nearby, Capstone operated, Mantoverde mine. The project has strong sustainability credentials, for example using desalinated water from the Mantoverde desalination plant.

Progress

In 2023 Capstone completed a brownfield expansion of the Mantoverde copper mine, located 35 km away from Santo Domingo. During 2023 Capstone, in tandem with third parties, worked to update the 2018 Feasibility Study. The original Feasibility Study was based on a stand alone development and the updated study will capture synergies expected to arise from the proximity to Mantoverde. The Feasibility Study is also expected to reflect a revised design that aims to achieve a smaller footprint and higher mill throughput rate, which should have a positive impact on capital and operating costs.

Outlook
The project is fully permitted and shovel ready. The updated Feasibility Study is scheduled to be published in the first half of 2024. Capstone Copper has also stated that once the study is published, it plans to consider a sale of a minority stake in Santo Domingo. FID is targeted for H2 2025.

Key facts

140Mlbs

Potential to be the 7th largest cobalt producer in the world with average annual production expected to be ~140Mlbs of copper, 4,200t of 65% pellet feed iron ore concentrate and 10.4Mlbs of cobalt

18 years

18 year mine life with extension potential

Water

Santo Domingo will use desalinated water, minimising water stress in an arid environment