YUKON – Western Copper and Gold of Vancouver has signed a letter of intent with M3 Engineering & Technology Corp. of Tucson, AZ, for operation of the Casino copper-gold-molybdenum project 380 km northwest of Whitehorse.
The LOI outlines the terms under which M3 will operate both the heap leach to treat the gold-bearing oxide cap and the 120,000 t/d concentrator. The agreement also covers mining, contract maintenance of mining equipment, power plant operations and maintenance, concentrate storage and load out, and other support services. The two parties expect to finalize terms of a definitive agreement by mid-2015.
Western has chosen contract operation for Casino to reduce start-up risk, control costs effectively, allow flexible financing, and gain access to the technical expertise available from M3.
The Casino open pit project is currently in the permitting stage. Western plans to produce copper-gold and molybdenum concentrates as well as gold-silver doré. The property contains 4.5 billion lb of copper, 8.9 million oz of gold, and 65 million oz of silver. Total pre-production capital costs are estimated to be $2.46 billion.
Detailed information about the Casino project is available at WesternCopperAndGold.com.