BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Kemess East gold-copper project preliminary economic assessment is positive, says owner AuRico Metals of Toronto, even when considered as a stand-alone project, not part of the Kemess underground project. Kemess East is located 6.5 km north of the existing Kemess mill and infrastructure about 430 km northwest of Prince George.
Drilling will continue this year at the Kemess East deposit. Credit: AuRico Metals.
The Kemess East PEA looks at a low cost panel caving operation with ore being processed at the existing mill. Pre-tax, the project has a net present value (5% discount) of $670 million and an internal rate of return of 22.1%. After taxes, the NPV is $375 million and the IRR is 16.7%. A 12-year life is estimated for the mine during which time it will produce 936,000 oz. of gold, 57 million lb. of copper, and 318,000 oz. of silver.
AuRico estimates the preproduction capital costs, including contingency, will be $327 million. The life of mine, co-product all-in sustaining costs will be US$744/oz. of gold and US$1.79/lb. of copper.
The Kemess East deposit contains measured and indicated resources of 113.1 million tonnes averaging 0.46 g/t gold, 0.38% copper, 1.94 g/t silver, containing 1.68 million oz. of gold, 954.0 million lb. of copper, and 7.01 oz. of silver. There remains an inferred resource of 64.8 million tonnes at 0.31 g/t gold, 0.34% copper, and 1.90 g/t silver, containing 640,000 oz. of gold, 478.0 million lb. of copper, and 3.89 million oz. of silver. Further drilling is planned for this year.
AuRico says will conduct a new feasibility study that will evaluate both the Kemess underground and Kemess East projects as part of an integrated development scenario. That report is to be released in 2018.
The Kemess East PEA will be available shortly at www.AuRicoMetals.ca.