YUKON – Capstone Mining of Vancouver has received the pre-feasibility study for phase 6 of the Minto copper mine, and the report outlines another 10 years of operation, to 2022 with an average annual output of 40 million lb of copper. The mine produced 37 million lb of copper, 195,300 oz of silver and 18.350 oz of gold (in concentrates) during 2011.
The next Minto phase examined the Minto South deposit and extensions to the Copper Keel and Wildfire zones. It expanded on phase 5 plans by incorporating new reserves and a new life-of-mine plan with additional underground reserves, optimized pit designs; mill capacity improvements; updated costs and economic analysis.
From the phase 6 PFS: Net present value $278 million before tax; life of mine capital costs $103 million; and life of mine cash costs of US$1.92/lb of payable copper after by-product credits. The proven and probable open pit and underground reserves have increased to 14.4 million tonnes grading 1.53% Cu, 0.58 g/t Au and 5.12 g/t Ag for a contained 484 million lb of copper, 270,000 oz of gold and 2.4 million oz of silver.
Capstone set phase 6 in motion on Jan. 1, 2012. It supposes a seven-year mining operation followed by three years of continued milling.
Details of the phase 6 PFS are available at CapstoneMining.com in the news release dated June 18, 2012.