ARIZONA – There are 1.3 billion lb of copper and 330 million lb of molybdenum in reserves at the Mineral Park mine near Kingman, according to the latest resource estimate. The property is 100% owned by MERCATOR MINERALS. The porphyry deposit is said to compare favourably to the Bagdad and Sierrita mines operated by Phelps Dodge.
The latest independent report puts measured and indicated resources at 446.7 million tons at a grade of 0.15% Cu and 0.037% Mo. There is an additional inferred resource of 69.1 million tons grading 0.10% Cu and 0.038% Mo containing 125 million lb of copper and 47.5 million lb of molybdenum using a 0.30% copper-equivalent cut-off grade. The resource estimate is based upon more than 1,054 drill holes previously completed at Mineral Park up to 1980, and does not include the results from the 2004 drill program announced February 23, 2005.
The resource estimate will be posted shortly at www.MercatorMinerals.com.
With the growth in reserves, Mercator is embarking on a program to increase copper production. Phase I involves boosting copper recovery through the SX/EW plant to 11 million lb/year from 6 million lb by increasing the amount of material on the leach pads. Cash costs are expected to fall below US$0.70/lb. Phase II would expand the SX/EW plant to 15 million lb/year and further lower cash costs to under US$0.60/lb. Phase III would double the capacity of the SX/EW plant to 30 million lb/year and cut cash costs per pound even further. This phase could be completed sometime in 2006.
The final production boost, Phase 4, involves developing a super pit and building a 30,000- to 40,000-tons/day concentrator.