YUKON – The pre-feasibility study of the Casino copper-gold-molybdenum deposit could support a new mine for 30 years, says owner WESTERN COPPER of Vancouver. The study was prepared by M3 ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY and included an initial capital cost of $2.1 billion.
The pre-feasibility study recommends development of the Casino deposit as a conventional, electric truck-and-shovel open pit. The initial development will focus on the deposit’s oxide cap as a heap leach operation to recover gold in dor form. The main sulphide deposit will be processed using a conventional concentrator to produce copper-gold and molybdenum concentrates. The mill will have a nominal production rate of 90,000 t/d of sulphide ore. The heap leach will nominally process up to 30,000 t/d for seven years.
Over a projected mine life of 30 years, the mill will produce 3.6 billion lb of copper, 320 million lb of molybdenum and 4.59 million oz of gold contained in concentrates. The heap leach will add a further 540,000 oz of gold.
The study estimates a NI 43-101-compliant proven and probable sulphide ore reserve of 914 million tonnes grading 0.21% Cu, 0.024% Mo and 0.24 g/t Au. The proven and probable heap leach ore reserve is estimated at 78 million tonnes grading 0.43 g/t Au.
Initial permits to support the start of construction are assumed to be obtained in 2012. Based on this assumption, production of gold dor from the heap leach is anticipated in mid-2013, and production of concentrate from the sulphide mill is estimated in late 2015.
Western Copper has retained GARTNER LEE to prepare the permit documentation, collect baseline monitoring data and begin community consultations.
The Casino project parameters and financial data are available at www.WesternCopperCorp.com.