BRITISH COLUMBIA – Based on numbers from the pre-feasibility study, WESTERN KELTIC MINES is hoping its 100%-owned Kutcho property will be Canada’s next major high-grade copper-zinc mine. The project is located 100 km east of Dease Lake and could begin production in 2010.
The base case model for Kutcho includes a combined open pit and underground operation with a conventional 6,000 tonne/d flotation concentrator, and 250 permanent jobs. Forecast annual metal production for each of the first five years of operation would be 75.5 million lb of copper, 93.5 million lb of zinc, 753,000 oz of silver and 7,813 oz of gold. The capital cost would be approximately $298.6 million. As planned, the mine would have a life of eight years with capital recovery in 30 months.
Western Keltic says the Kutcho project includes three deposits – Main, Esso and Sumac. The Main deposit consists of a 15.7 million t measured and indicated resource grading 1.65% Cu and 2.15% Zn. It also has an inferred resource of 811,000 t at 0.95% Cu and 1.92% Zn. The Esso deposit contains 2.0 million t at 2.24% Cu and 3.96% Zn in the indicated category plus 442,500 t at 2.47% Cu and 4.15% Zn in the inferred category. Only inferred resources, 17.7 million t at 0.94% Cu and 1.45% Zn, have been outlined so far at the Sumac deposit.
Probable reserves in the Main open pit and Esso underground deposits total 17.1 million t grading 1.63% Cu and 2.26% Zn.
Details of the mining and milling plans are available in the news release of Sept. 5, 2007, posted at www.WesternKeltic.com.