BRITISH COLUMBIA – The latest feasibility study for the Mt. Milligan copper-gold mine and mill puts capital costs near the billion-dollar mark, specifically $917 million. Owner TERRANE METALS of Vancouver is planning an open pit and 60,000-t/d mill. The property, 155 km northwest of Prince George, contains a proven and probable mineral reserve of 333.7 million tonnes grading 0.217% Cu and 0.428 g/t Au. The measured and indicated resource is 590.8 million tonnes grading 0.193% Cu and 0.352 g/t Au.
The Mt. Milligan deposit was examined first in 1984 and received a mine development certificate in 1993. Terrane purchased a 100% interest in the property in 2006. Now having updated old estimates and plans, Terrane hopes to begin construction in 2009 and production in Q2 2011. Approximately 400 permanent jobs will be created.
The feasibility study projects annual metal production at 88 million lb of copper and 217,000 oz of gold during a mine life of 15 years. The project will pay for itself in less than four years (pre-tax) and generate an IRR of 18.1% (also pre-tax). The cost of producing copper is estimated to be US$0.64/lb over the life of the mine, and gold costs may be -$250/oz (net of byproduct credits).
Details of the Mt. Milligan feasibility study are available in the news release dated March 31, 2008, posted at www.TerraneMetals.com.