BRITISH COLUMBIA – Imperial Metals of Vancouver is preparing its Main zone optimization (MZO) plan that will add seven years to the life of the Huckleberry copper-molybdenum mine 123 km south of Houston by expanding the Main zone pit and creating a new tailings management facility.
The mine life will be extended to 2021, seven years beyond the current end in 2014. Production from this year through 2021 is anticipated to be 424 million lb of copper, with copper production averaging 43.2 million lb/year until 2019. Thereafter it will decline due to the milling of low grade stockpiles. From the start-up in 1997 to the end of 2010, the Huckleberry mine produced 879 million lb of copper, 8 million lb of molybdenum, 105,000 oz of gold and 3.4 million oz of silver.
The mineral reserve estimate for the MZO pit is 39.7 million tonnes grading 0.343% Cu. The expansion has a net present value of $150 million at a discount rate of 8%. Imperial (50%) and its Japanese partners (50%) hope to receive permits for the MZO by the end of this year. Additional mining equipment has been ordered and logging of the project area has begun.
The 43-101 technical report for the MZO has been filed at www.Sedar.com or visit www.ImperialMetals.com.