BRITISH COLUMBIA — Vancouver's Capstone Mining says the recent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Kutcho project takes a different approach to development compared to earlier studies. It considered the potential for a high-grade underground copper-zinc mine with byproduct gold and silver credits. This new approach will reduce capital and operating costs and significantly reduce the environmental footprint, said president and COO Stephen Quin.
Pre-production costs would be C$133.5 million, including a 15% contingency. A small starter pit would be mined, and then the majority of the mill feed would be produced from underground. A 2,500-t/d mill will be built to produce separate copper and zinc concentrates. Byproduct gold and silver will report to the copper concentrate.
Life of the project is estimated to be 12 years. Average annual production of 33.9 million lb of copper, 41.7 million lb of zinc, 2,858 oz of gold and 454,000 oz of silver is proposed. Total cash costs of US$1.41/lb of payable copper, net of byproduct credits and including selling costs, are expected.
Photos and more information about the Kutcho project near Dease Lake are posted at www.CapstoneMining.com.