NEWFOUNDLAND – The preliminary economic assessment for the Little Deer copper project 10 km north of Springdale is complete, and it foresees a viable new copper producer. The project is a 50:50 joint venture of Cornerstone Capital Resources of Mount Pearl, NL, and the operator Thundermin Resources of Toronto. Cost of developing a 1,800-t/d mine and new flotation mill will be approximately $110 million.
The base case (copper at US$3.75/lb) PEA is developed around indicated resources of 1.9 million tonnes grading 2.37% Cu and containing 99.8 million lb of copper. There is also an inferred resource of 3.7 million tonnes grading 2.13% Cu (175.9 million lb of copper). An underground mine with a ramp for access would have a life of 9.5 years. Pre-tax (6%), the next present value is $130.4 million and the internal rate of return is 26.0%. Preproduction capital would be paid back in 3.5 years.
The partners say that the average life-of-mine operating cost per tonne of ore mined and milled is estimated at $47.32 which equates to approximately $1.16/lb of copper.
More information about the Little Deer project is available at www.Thundermin.com or www.CornerstoneResources.com.